No news is good news, or so the old saying goes. But is it good news that we have seen no real movement in our understanding of the furlough scheme over the last month?
Where are we?
We reported in January 2021 on the government's decision to extend the furlough scheme until the end of April 2021. At the time, we commented on the CIPD's proposals for the scheme to continue to provide some level of support until June. More recently, the British Chambers of Commerce have argued the scheme should remain open until at least the end of July 2021. Given the prospect that businesses will continue to be badly affected by the various lockdowns and restrictions for many months to come, we suspected that Rishi Sunak (the Chancellor of the Exchequer) might well decide to extend the scheme further still. However, despite recently issuing a new Treasury Direction in relation to the regulation of the furlough scheme, the closing date remains the same.
Still the chance of further movement?
Without intending to make any party political points, it is fair to say that this is a situation that continues to change quite rapidly; sometimes significant changes in government policy are made at the very last minute. With this in mind, we will keep our eyes peeled for further news on this issue. If we hear about any changes to the arrangements for the winding down of the CJRS, we will most certainly let you know.