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Extended furlough schemes: the issues HR needs to know about

Furlough was extended until March 2021 at the start of November
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The extended furlough scheme has already been the subject of revised government guidance and a subsequent Treasury Direction. XpertHR consultant editor Darren Newman examines the extended scheme and the issues that it presents for HR and employers.

The extended furlough scheme introduced on 1 November was not what the Government had planned for the last days of 2020. Furlough was due to end on 31 October and be replaced by the Job Support Scheme, which drew a distinction between employers that could continue to trade and those that were forced to close by local restrictions.

In theory, the Job Support Scheme could return in some form once the extended furlough scheme eventually ends, but I suspect that it will be quietly forgotten along with the now abandoned £1,000 Job Retention Bonus.

Those that were forced to close could claim just over 66% of their employees’ wages (capped at £2,083.44 per month). Those that could stay open but whose business was adversely affected would have to contribute at least 5% of their employees’ wages.

Frankly it was shaping up to be a complicated system. In theory, the Job Support Scheme could return in some form once the extended furlough scheme eventually ends, but I suspect that it will be quietly forgotten along with the now abandoned £1,000 Job Retention Bonus.

Although this has been billed as an extension to the furlough scheme, it should be stressed that it is really a new scheme rather than simply a continuation of the old one.

Continue reading the full article on XpertHR

Darren Newman

About Darren Newman

Darren Newman qualified as a barrister in 1990, and has represented both employers and employees at tribunal. He provides straightforward practical guidance on a wide range of employment law issues. Darren also works as a consultant editor for XpertHR.

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