The Chancellor made a number of surprise announcements, 17 December 2020. In what must be a response to the continuing resilience of coronavirus, he has extended the furlough scheme and the closing date for government backed loan applications.

Details of the changes are:

  • The furlough scheme was due to end 31 March 2021. It has now been extended to 30 April 2021. Government support will continue at 80% towards hours not worked.
  • Government-guaranteed loans scheme applications were due to end 31 January 2021. This end date for applications has now been extended to 31 March 2021.

Budget date for 2021 also announced

Ending further speculation and uncertainty, the Chancellor has confirmed that he will be making his annual budget presentation to Parliament, March 3rd, 2021. Further support for ailing small business may be included in his presentation.

What will this mean for you?

The extension of the furlough scheme for a further month is welcomed as we may still be experiencing COVID related disruption during the first quarter of 2021. It means that you may be able to defer any decisions on staffing levels until the spring, when hopefully, the vaccines will start to have an effect on COVID infection levels and perhaps the economy will be making slow progress towards recovery.

We can help

If you need help managing the practicalities of using the furlough scheme or with reconsidering your options now that these new support measures are on the table, please call so we can help you reconsider your choices.

Date published: 19 December 2020

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