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Furlough scheme: How to claim your pay and when will it end?
THE furlough scheme was recently extended for an extra month – we explain how to claim your pay and when it ends.
Workers on furlough – officially known as the coronavirus job retention scheme – get 80% of their usual salary, up to £2,500 a month.
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When will the furlough scheme end?
In mid-December, Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed furlough will run for an extra month until the end of April 2021.
The scheme was due to be reviewed in January, but Mr Sunak said he was bringing this forward to give businesses clarity going into the new year.
Furlough was initially due to end on October 31 but the Chancellor extended it until December 2 after England was placed in a four-week national lockdown.
Later, on November 5, he then changed his mind again and said it would run until the end of March 2021.
Speaking in December, Mr Sunak said: "Our package of support for businesses and workers continues to be one of the most generous and effective in the world – helping our economy to recover and protecting livelihoods across the country.
“We know the premium businesses place on certainty, so it is right that we enable them to plan ahead regardless of the path the virus takes, which is why we’re providing certainty and clarity by extending this support, as well as implementing our Plan for Jobs.”
How do I claim furlough pay?
If you've been told by your boss that you're being furloughed, it is their responsibility to contact HMRC.
This means you shouldn't need to notify the government of any changes to your pay, as your employer will do this for you.
Employers submit information about furloughed workers through an online portal on the HMRC website.
The details they provide will include your salary, so the government can calculate how much furlough pay you should receive.
Firms must continue paying staff wages on the usual payday and claim the funds back.
After contacting HMRC, your employer will be given a grant by the government to cover the appropriate amount of wages for furloughed staff.
Who is eligible for furlough?
Employees who can't work because their workplace has closed due to lockdown measures can be put on furlough.
Parents who can no longer work due to school closures can also be put on the scheme, but it's up to your employer to decide.
At the moment, you need to have been on your employer's payroll by 11.59pm, October 30 2020, to be furloughed.
Workers can be on any type of contract, meaning you could still be furloughed if you are part-time or on a contract.
You don't need to have been furloughed before to be eligible for the scheme, and the business you work for doesn't need to have used it before to use it now.
All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant.
How much money will I get if I have been furloughed?
Furloughed workers will get 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
You can work out how much you'll get by calculating 80% of your normal pay.
Businesses have to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for hours not worked.
Employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense – but they don't have to.
Businesses are also being given until the end of March to access the emergency lending schemes such as coronavirus business interruption loans and bounce back loans.
Self-employed grants have already been released to cover November to January and are due for February to April 2021, calculated at 80% of trading profits up to a maximum of £7,500.
In November, the Bank of England said it expects five million people to be placed on furlough during the month – and millions more by the Spring.
The BoE also believes around 2.5million will still need support through to April next year.
Here are your redundancy rights if you've been furloughed.
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