Will Rishi Sunak extend furlough and when will it happen?

THE furlough scheme is covering millions of workers' wages during the coronavirus crisis – but will Rishi Sunak extend it?

And if so, when will it happen? We explain all you need to know.

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Will furlough be extended?

The furlough scheme, which pays workers 80% of wages for hours not worked, is currently set to run until the end of April 2021.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced in December last year that he would extend the scheme from the end of March this year until April 30.

However, he is now set to extend it again until at least July as businesses remain shut, The Sun revealed last night.

It came after Boris Johnson yesterday hinted that furlough will be extended when he set out his roadmap out of lockdown.

The Prime Minister said: "We will not pull the rug.

"For the duration of the pandemic the government will continue to do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods."

When will it be extended?

Boris Johnson said the Chancellor will set out his plans during the Budget next week.

This takes place on Wednesday, March 3.

Can I be made redundant if I’m on furlough?

EVEN though furlough is designed to keep workers employed, unfortunately it doesn’t protect you from being made redundant.

But it doesn't affect your redundancy pay rights if you are let go from your job amid the coronavirus crisis.

Your employer should still carry out a fair redundancy process.

You will be entitled to be consulted on the redundancy lay-off first and to receive a statutory redundancy payment, as long as you've been working somewhere for at least two years.

How much you're entitled to depends on your age and length of service, although this is capped at 20 years. You'll get:

  • Half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22,
  • One week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41,
  • One and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older.

Sadly, you won't be entitled to a payout if you've been working for your employer for fewer than two years.

There should be a period of collective consultation as well as time for individual ones if your employer wants to make 20 or more employees redundant within 90 days or each other.

You are also entitled to appeal the decision by claiming unfair dismissal within three months of being let go.

If you're made redundant after your company has gone into administration you can claim redundancy pay via Gov.uk.

The Budget is when the government outlines its plans for tax hikes, cuts and things like changes to Universal Credit and the minimum wage.

It's different to the Spending Review, which sets out how much public cash will go towards funding certain departments, devolved government's and services, such as the NHS.

The Budget is read out in the House of Commons by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.

How much money do you get on furlough?

Under current furlough rules, employees get up to 80% of wages paid for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.

At the moment, employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense – but they don't have to.

Workers also get their usual full salary for any hours they do work.

For hours not worked, employers will have to cover National Insurance and pension contributions.

Who is eligible for the furlough extension?

In December, the government said the eligibility criteria for the furlough scheme extension until the end of April will remain the same.

The rules for the March extension meant any UK organisation with employees can apply to furlough their workers.

This includes businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities, providing they have a UK bank accounts and UK PAYE schemes.

Workers can be on any type of contract, meaning you could still be furloughed if you are part-time or a contract worker.

And like last time, it is down to the organisation to arrange the help, rather than the employees.

Workers must have been on payroll before October 30 to get furlough.

Large companies (with more than 250 employees) have to meet a financial impact test, as part of current rules.

It means the scheme is only available to those whose turnover has stayed the same or is lower than before Covid-19.

There is no financial impact test for SMEs or charities.

More than 160,000 Brits who have lost their job due to the Covid crisis will get a new bumper package of support with boosting their CV and prepping for interviews.

Here's how to get furloughed if you're struggling to juggle childcare and working from home.

And we explain your redundancy rights if you've been furloughed.

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