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Furlough ending: what to expect

10/09/2021

Furlough ending: what to expect

10/09/2021

Unprecedented, the new normal, herd immunity, quarantine, isolation… These are just a few of the words and phrases that have changed our lives in ways we could never have imagined.

But no word has changed life quite as much as furlough.

Let’s be honest, 18 months ago it was a word many of us had probably never heard but little did we know it would become a lifeline for millions across the country.

When the pandemic struck, and the world locked down thoughts quickly turned to how we would cope financially.

In a first for the British government, the chancellor Rishi Sunak said the state would pay grants covering up to 80% of the salary of workers, up to £2,500, if companies kept them on their payroll rather than lay them off.

Dubbed the Job Retention Scheme, or furlough, at its height it helped 11.6 million people at a cost of £65.9 billion.

Now as the scheme is set to end on September 30th, we’re looking ahead to what to expect.

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How will furlough work in September?

The furlough scheme has slowly but surely been winding down in recent months, with a view for it to come to an end on September 30th.

While there are calls for the scheme to be continued, there has been no statement from the chancellor about an extension.

This month the government will pay 60% of wages, up to £1,875 per month, for the hours an employee is furloughed. Employers must top up their employees’ wages and employees must still receive at least 80% of their wages (up to £2,500) for hours not worked.

An employer can claim furlough pay for September up until October 14th. Any amendments must be made by October 28th.

 

What if I’m still on furlough?

According to recent figures, 1.6 million people were on furlough at the end of July.

While this is the lowest level since the start of the pandemic and 340,000 fewer than a month earlier, many forecasters are expecting a slight rise in unemployment after furlough ends.

If you are still furloughed at the moment, your employer should still be paying you as they have been in recent months.

However, employers need to decide whether they are able to have their furloughed staff return to work or make them redundant.

If you are facing redundancy in most cases your employer should already have started this process. If your employer is going to have you return to work, they don’t legally need to give notice of this, but it’s recommended they do.

You should contact your employer as soon as possible to find out where you stand.

What should I do if I’m at risk of redundancy?

If you’re facing redundancy the most important thing to do is make sure you know how much you’re entitled to.

If you have worked for your employer for more than two years, you will be entitled to Statutory Redundancy Pay (SRP) from your employer. However, sometimes you may be entitled to more because of your contract of employment so you should check this as soon as possible.

The amount of SRP you are entitled to can vary depending on your age.

  • If you’re under 22 you should receive half a weeks’ pay for each full year you worked under the age of 22.
  • If you’re between 22 and 41 you should receive one weeks’ wage for each full year worked.
  • If you’re 41-years-old or older, you should receive 1.5 weeks’ wage for every full year.

SRP is capped at 20 years’ service.

If you’re worried about redundancy, you can find out more on our blog here.

 

What should I do if I’m unable to pay my debts when furlough ends?

If you’re worried about being able to cover the cost of your financial commitments, it’s important to know what support is available.

Firstly, you should make sure you’re aware of what benefits you are entitled to.

You should be able to claim Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA). This is worth £59.20 a week if you’re under £25, or £74.70 if you’re 25 and over.

However, you can also find a benefits calculator on the government website that will help you find out what benefits you could get and advice about claiming.

If you’re worried about debt, trained experts from Creditfix can help. They’ll help you find the best debt solution for your needs or signpost you for further guidance elsewhere if required.

We have a wide range of debt management solutions that could help you write off up to 81% of your debts

Check if you qualify

 

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