Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – Extended Until April 2021

21st December 2020 by

The Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme) that has helped businesses and protected jobs since the beginning of the pandemic, has been extended until the end of April 2021.

To provide support during the winter months, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on 17 December 2020 that the Furlough Scheme will now be further extended, protecting millions of jobs across all sectors. The extension means that the scheme will have been in place for over one year since the beginning of the pandemic, to support both businesses and individuals, giving them certainty into the new year.

So far, the Furlough Scheme has protected 9.6 million jobs across the UK with more than one million businesses accessing loans to help them through this uncertain time.

In order to claim through the Furlough scheme, an employee will need to have been employed on 30 October 2020, as long as the PAYE Real Time Information (“RTI”) submission was made to HMRC between 20 March and 30 October 2020. This may change if an employer has made an employee redundant and re-employed them. There is a separate scheme for self-employed individuals, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

You can only be put on furlough if COVID-19 is affecting an employer’s operations, and an employer can claim for a grant to cover part of regular wages, up to a monthly cap of £2,500. If an employee is furloughed, or flexibly furloughed, the employer will pay the following:

  • At least 80% of the regular wages, up to a maximum cap of £2,500 per months (for the hours you are furloughed, not working);
  • Can choose to pay the employee more than the 80% by topping up pay, but they are not under a duty to do so;
  • Will pay the employee in full for any hours that they do work whilst on flexible furlough.

Whilst on Furlough, an employees’ holiday will continue to accrue as per their employment contract.

By extending the scheme until the end of April, businesses will be given certainty well ahead of a 45 day redundancy consultation process; with the Budget coming out on 3 March 2021, any subsequent phase of support will be set out more than 45 days before the current end date of the scheme.

For more information or to speak with one of our employment law specialists, please don’t hesitate to contact Healys Employment solicitors, by calling 0800 2800432 or emailing us at