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  • Emma Walsh

Furlough and business loan schemes extended

Chancellor Rishi Sunak plans to extend coronavirus business loan schemes to end of March & the furlough scheme until end of April 2021 to support UK businesses.

The Budget has been set for 3 March 2021.

As more areas of England plunge into tier three restrictions today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has extended the coronavirus business loan applications until the end of March to alleviate prolonged business disruptions.

In addition, the government has announced that the furlough scheme will be extended alongside loan schemes until 30 April 2021, with the government continuing to contribute 80% towards wages.

2021’s Budget has also been confirmed for 3 March 2021 at which he will "set out the next phase of the plan to tackle the virus and protect jobs”.

The announcement also alludes to a 45-day redundancy notice period for business “with Budget setting out the next phase of support more than 45 days before the new end date of the scheme”.

The announcements come as ministers scramble to ease pandemic and Brexit strains as businesses face continued tier restrictions until spring 2021.

“We know the premium businesses place on certainty, so it is right that we enable businesses to plan ahead regardless of the path the virus takes, which is why we’re providing certainty and clarity by extending this support, as well as implementing our Plan for Jobs,” commented Sunak.

The UK government has injected a current total £68bn into the economy via business loan schemes, with £43.5bn going towards the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) alone.

Coronavirus business loan schemes

The three key emergency loan schemes – CBILS (Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme), BBLS and CLBILS (Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme) – are set to be extended until the end of the financial year. The official announcement is expected later today.

Furlough scheme

The extended furlough scheme will continue to offer 80% towards employee wages for unworked hours and will end on 30 April in order to provide employees with job certainty into the New Year.

Employers must still pay wages, NICS and pensions for hours worked and NICS and pensions for hours not worked. Eligibility criteria will remain the same.

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