Another national lockdown and extension of the coronavirus job retention scheme

As the Country enters  another national lockdown the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced that the Coronavirus Job retention Scheme also known as furlough will be extended for another 4 weeks, ending on 2nd December 2020. Subsequently it was announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak that it will now be extended until 31st March 2021.

The furlough scheme has changed significantly since when it was originally introduced, therefore it is crucial that employers fully understand the financial support that is available. We are glad to report that the scheme now offers 80% of eligible workers’ salaries, with employers only responsible for National Insurance Contributions and pension payments. Any business whether it is a non-profit, small private company, or large, can benefit from the scheme and it also applies to any type of contract of employment, including zero hours contracts. The only requirement in terms of timescales is that any employee, who the scheme is claimed for, must have been on the employer’s payroll by 23:59 on 30th October 2020.

The Government has also continued with the Job Retention Bonus, which can be claimed at £1,000 for each employee kept until February 2021.

Now more than ever, Employers must ensure that, while fighting for business’ survival, they comply with their obligations as Employers.  Do talk to your employees to ensure that they are fully informed of what is happening with n the business, after all we are all in this TOGETHER.


The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme continues until April 2021, with grants paid in two lump sum instalments. The first grant covers the period between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021.

The amount that can be claimed is based on 80% of average monthly trading profits in November and 40% for December and January, there is a cap of £5,160.00. Unfortunately, we do not know any details about the extent of the support to be offered from the second grant.


The question of whether and/or when a genuine redundancy situation has arisen, may not be completely straightforward. Regrettably, the Government’s guidance notes do not offer much understanding or support on this point, other than to state employers can still make furloughed employees redundant.

If you are an employee you must remember that your employer has to follow a fair process even if the reason for your dismissal is redundancy. It is also prudent to remember that redundancy dismissals may still be seen as unfair, if  the employer did not properly consider alternatives, including retaining the employee on furlough.

Written by Monika Sargeant – Bates Wells & Braithwaite – 01787 880440

Monika Sargeant

Monika joined Bates Wells & Braithwaite in 2020 and is a specialist employment and company commercial solicitor.

Monika has a number of years of litigation experience gained while employed for a Regional Firm. She assisted many Clients both employee and employer in achieving a satisfactory outcome in contentious and non-contentious matters including but not limited to partnership disputes, unfair and wrongful dismissal claims and discrimination claims.

In the commercial aspect of her case load over the years Monika has assisted many businesses with sales and purchases of both asset only and shares transactions.

Monika lives locally with her family and is very much devoted to the local community. She enjoys skiing and travelling (especially Portugal).