When the government announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS, or the furlough scheme) would be extended to 31st March 2021, it was music to many people’s ears. But it also left some employers wondering what exactly to do, given that the situation is still so uncertain.
Whilst no one can truly know what’s on the horizon, we’ve put together a few tips on what you can do in response to the extension.
Understand the furlough scheme extension
Firstly, get to grips with what the CJRS actually entails. It was originally supposed to be replaced with the Job Support Scheme (JSS), which was designed to top up the earnings of those whose hours have been reduced, or whose employer was legally required to shut their doors. This has now been delayed, and the extended furlough scheme takes things back to how they were when it was first introduced in March.
Employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for the hours not worked (capped at £2,500 a month). This first introduction of the CJRS covered a period of four months, with employers beginning to make contributions in August. However, they may have to do so sooner this time – the extension is due to be reviewed in January.
It’s also worth noting that if you had staff on payroll on 23rd September 2020 but had to make their role redundant (or they stopped working) after this, then you can re-employ and claim for them. To be eligible, you will be required to make a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC from 20th March 2020 to 23rd September 2020. The same applies if you had an employee whose fixed-term contract expired after 23rd September 2020.
Be prepared to make difficult decisions
Unfortunately, there is still much uncertainty ahead. For some businesses, the continuation of the pandemic may require them to make very tough choices – such as making a role or multiple roles redundant.
It is important to be ready not just for this, but for supporting outgoing employees in any way that you can. 2020 has not been an easy year for anyone, and it may be that your staff members’ mindset and wellbeing will be affected by the loss of their job. So, consider what you can do to help – from ensuring the redundancy conversation goes the best way it can, to guaranteeing you follow protocol correctly, to offering an empathetic ear when needed.
One thing you can do to support both their wellbeing and their future prospects is provide outplacement services.
Support outgoing staff with Outplacement Services
With Outplacement Services, outgoing employees can experience a smoother journey from redundancy to a new job. They’ll gain access to CV and job search help, interview technique advice, and tips on landing a position through social media. Plus, there’s also a mindset and wellbeing webinar, which will help them emotionally and mentally to prepare to re-enter the job market.
There are even 1-2-1 consultations available with CV and finance specialists. As a result, affected staff will be in the best position to secure a new role, and you’ll have peace of mind knowing you’ve done what you can to support them.