At a press conference televised live on the BBC on Saturday night (31 October), the Prime Minister Boris Johnson shared details of a new plan to fight coronavirus in England. With the number of COVID infections rising rapidly across much of the country, he outlined a month-long lockdown to start from this Thursday (5 November).
The Prime Minister stressed that those who can work effectively from home must do so and where people cannot do so – for instance people who work in critical national infrastructure or construction – they should continue to travel to work and attend their workplace.
It will supersede all local lockdowns currently in place in England, but unlike the measures introduced in the Spring, schools and universities will remain open.
The Chancellor confirmed on Thursday (5 November) that the furlough scheme –where employees can receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 – will be extended until March 2021. ACE members will be interested to note that businesses can participate in the scheme even if they haven’t previously, and that employers will have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work on a part time basis, or furlough them full-time.
As always throughout the pandemic, EIC members can access sister organisation ACE’s dedicated COVID-19 Hub with the latest relevant advice and guidance, so please do check on the ACE website for further details, guidance and links.