In the latest of a long sequence of Covid-19 related assistance measures, the Chancellor of the Exchequer announced yesterday that the Government’s furlough scheme is being extended for an extra month beyond the previously extended date. The furlough scheme will now continue until the end of April 2021.
This measure will assist many employers and, as an added benefit, it was announced that the Government will continue to pay the same level of contribution (80%) and not look to reduce the level as happened in the lead-up to the original finishing date.
As we reported at the time the scheme was extended to the end of March 2021, the stated intention of Government was that there be a review of the requirement for support in January 2021 with the possibility of the scheme being adjusted and the level of contribution reduced.
The action reflects the continuing concern of politicians and specialist advisers regarding the Covid-19 virus and the expected impact of withdrawal of Government support being large scale redundancies and restructuring.
Looking forward, the introduction of a vaccination programme may result in the furlough scheme being adjusted or withdrawn, however, in light of the suggested timescales for most people to receive the two-stage vaccine there is a strong possibility that the furlough may be extended beyond the end of April.
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