Final Furlough changes take effect

Coronavirus, Payroll,

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (or Furlough Scheme) has moved into its final phase. From 1st August, the contribution required from employers increased to 20%, whilst the Government’s contribution reduced to 60% of wages. This is up to a maximum of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough.

These levels will remain unchanged until the scheme closes on the 30th September 2021.

In the last reported figures for the scheme, there have been some interesting changes:

  • Almost three million people moved off the scheme between March and the end of June.
  • At the end of June, 1.9 million people remained on the scheme, a reduction of more than 500,000 from the end of May.
  • The 1.9 million on the scheme at the end of June was the lowest number since the scheme started in March 2020, with the peak being 9 million in May 2020.
  • Estimates since the end of June say between 1.1 and 1.6 million people remain on the scheme.
  • Young people are no longer the most likely to be on the scheme, with 600,000 under 25s moving off the scheme in the last three months, as the economy reopens.
  • Sectors such as hospitality and retail are now leaving the scheme at the highest rate, reflecting the reduction in restrictions.
  • Since the start of the scheme, a total of 11.6 million jobs have been supported.

Whilst there are still many businesses that are using the scheme, there are also many who have only survived, and been able to retain their staff, as a result of the scheme.

If you were able to benefit from the Furlough scheme, as we’ve mentioned before, please make sure that you have clear records to show what you have claimed and why. HMRC are going to enquire into an awful lot of claims, and you need to make sure that you can justify the amounts you’ve claimed. Recent reports have suggested that they’re already looking into 12,000 claims, and that number is only going to rise over the coming months!

 

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