Furlough from 1 July 2021 – what has changed and when will it end?

The furlough scheme, whereby the government pays most of the wages of people who cannot work, or whose employers cannot afford to pay them – continues until the end of September 2021.

Whilst the scheme has undoubtedly helped to save millions of jobs, according to estimates from the Office for Budget Responsibility, from March 2020 to the end of September 2021, the cost of furlough will come to an eye watering £66bn.

It is due to fully end in the autumn, but from 1 July 2021, employers must contribute to the cost of keeping staff furloughed.

How has furlough changed?

Though furlough remains unchanged for employees, employers are being asked to make a bigger contribution during the final three months of the scheme.

  • From 1 July, government will pay 70% of a worker’s salary, and employers will pay 10%, leaving employees with 80% of their previous salaries, up to the same monthly limit as previously – £2,500.
  • In August and September, government will pay 60% and employers 20%, up to the same £2,500 limit.

Employers already have to pay pension and National Insurance contributions for their workers.

As the economy opens up, the government hopes that most furloughed workers will be able to return to work and by making it more expensive to furlough workers, the government hopes to encourage employers to take workers back full-time where they can, and only furlough those they need to.

Will furlough be extended if restrictions remain in place?

Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak both said recently that they do not want to extend furlough for a fifth time. One of the reasons it was extended to 30 September – past the expected end of lockdown – was to give businesses certainty and prevent the need for yet another extension.

It’s hoped that most coronavirus restrictions will end on 19 July, which should enable many businesses to fully reopen. If the data changes however, and a large new wave of infections leads to another lockdown, the government will undoubtedly come under pressure to reconsider.

Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove has said he is ‘open-minded’ about extending furlough.

What might be the impact be on unemployment?

Many forecasters, including those at the Bank of England and the government’s spending watchdog, the Office for Budget Responsibility, are predicting a small rise in unemployment after furlough ends.

At the start of the pandemic, it was feared that more than one in 10 workers would become unemployed – instead the unemployment rate is currently less than one in 20.

Some employers with workers on furlough may find that they cannot afford to keep them on though after the scheme ends and even though Covid restrictions are due to lift on 19 July, many businesses will not yet be able to fully reopen – International travel, and businesses which depend on it for example will still be seriously disrupted and some furloughed workers in these areas may lose their jobs.

We are still not out of the woods and uncertainty surrounds whether ‘freedom day’ will go ahead on 19 July. An end to furlough or a reduction in the money businesses can claim under the scheme whose income still is not coming in for them will lead to inevitable consequences and job losses. Whether the Chancellor will re-think his furlough plans in response remains to be seen.

For advice or support contact hello@chw-accounting.co.uk

 


This article is for general guidance only. It provides an outline, and may not include points which are important to your situation. You should not depend on this blog without taking advice based on the full facts of your case. The information given was correct at the time of publication.

DID YOU FIND THIS USEFUL?

Share it with your network:  

Want more great content?
Sign up to our newsletter

    Follow us

    Tweets by @CHW-accounting

    CHW-Accounting
    @chw-accounting


    Twitter: chw_accounting

    WHAT'S THE NEWS?

    Grab a biscuit and a brew and read our latest news.

    8 March 2022

    Temporary reduced VAT rate for leisure and hospitality to...

    by

    On 8 July 2020, as an urgent response to the pandemic, the government announced a number of VAT measures including a temporary reduction of the VAT…


    Read more >

    1 March 2022

    National Minimum and National Living Wage changes April 2022

    by

    From 1 April 2022, the government is increasing but the National Minimum and National Living Wage rates. The National Minimum Wage is the minimum amount an…


    Read more >

    22 February 2022

    Dividend taxes to rise from 6 April 2022 –...

    by

    The government has confirmed that it will not be backing down on the planned hike in National Insurance (NI) and dividend tax from April 2022. There…


    Read more >

    10 January 2022

    Late filing and late payment penalties are to be...

    by

    HMRC has given self-assessment taxpayers more time to ease COVID-19 pressures. With the self-assessment deadline less than three weeks away, many individuals and agents will be…


    Read more >

    7 January 2022

    Making tax digital for VAT – April 2022 –...

    by

    Since 1 April 2019, VAT-registered businesses with a turnover above the VAT registration threshold of £85,000 have been required to keep their records digitally and provide…


    Read more >

    YOUR CHALLENGES

    No matter what your challenge is, we’ve probably dealt with it before.



    Need an Accountant?

    Get in touch >


    Need an Accountant?

    Get in touch >


    Tax issues?

    Find out more >


    Tax issues?

    Find out more >


    Trying to grow your business?

    We can help >


    Trying to grow your business?

    We can help >


    Managing cashflow?

    We can help >


    Managing cashflow?

    We can help >


    Starting a business?

    We can help >


    Starting a business?

    We can help >


    Looking for funding?

    Need help with funding? >


    Looking for funding?

    Need help with funding? >


    Buying or selling a business?

    We can help >


    Buying or selling a business?

    We can help >


    Adopt the cloud?

    We can help >


    Adopt the cloud?

    We can help >


    What else can we do for you?

    We can help >


    What else can we do for you?

    We can help >
    CONTACT US

    Get in touch, no hard sell, just a brew, a biscuit and a chat.