PPA calls to make the CJRS more flexible to allow part time work and the phasing of the withdrawal of support to avoid a cliff edge this summer have been answered by the government, with the Chancellor announcing new rules.
The revised scheme will ensure that from July 1, businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis, a month earlier than previously announced. Employers will be responsible for paying their wages while in work and deciding the hours and shift patterns.
From August, the government will begin to taper the scheme, phasing the withdrawal of support provided by the CJRS. While the government continues to pay businesses a grant to support wages, employers will be asked to contribute. In the first month of taper, employers will need to make payment of National Insurance and pension contributions, for furloughed employees, while the government will cover 80% of wages up to £2,500.
In September, the grant will be reduced to cover 70% of wages, 60% in October, and close in November.
The scheme will close to new entrants from June 30. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30 June, meaning anyone being furloughed for the first time must do so by June 10.
*Parents returning to work after extended leave eligible for furlough *
People on paternity and maternity leave who return to work in the coming months will be eligible for the government’s furlough scheme even after 10 June cut-off date. This will only apply where they work for an employer who has previously furloughed employees. This applies to people on adoption leave, shared parental leave, and parental bereavement leave. Find out more here.
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer said: "Our top priority has always been to support people, protect jobs and businesses through this crisis. The furlough and self-employment schemes have been a lifeline for millions of people and businesses.
"We stood behind Britain’s businesses and workers as we came into this crisis and we stand behind them as we come through the other side.
"Now, as we begin to re-open our country and kickstart our economy, these schemes will adjust to ensure those who are able to work can do so, while remaining amongst the most generous in the world."
Welcoming the changes, PPA Managing Director, Owen Meredith commented: “The government has listened to our call for tapering of the scheme to avoid a cliff-edge and to introduce more flexibility to allow part time work to support the economic recovery. These are welcome measures and will support jobs across the industry as publishers adapt and recovery from this crisis.
“PPA will continue to lobby for a sector-led approach to the scheme which acknowledges different parts of the economy will return and recover at different speeds, and many publishing businesses face significant lag times.”
Full details of the changes to the scheme can be found here.