We’re living in unprecedented times, with the Coronavirus crisis causing uncertainty for business owners and employees alike. Our offices may be temporarily closed, but we are still here to provide advice and support to our clients where possible, answering the questions you need to know.

 

Q: What does the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme mean for my firm and my staff?

 

A:

 

Until March, the term ‘furloughed’ was widely unknown. Now, it’s regularly trending on Twitter and mentioned in almost every news bulletin.

 

The term relates to employees on a temporary leave of absence and was introduced as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak. The scheme is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

Employers can use a portal to claim for 80% of usual monthly wage costs for furloughed employees, up to £2,500 a month. The associated employer national insurance contributions and minimum employer contributions are also covered within this policy.

 

After initially being introduced as a short-term measure, the scheme has been extended to keep up with lockdown measures. The Government will continue to pay 80% of wages for furloughed employees until August 2020, after which businesses will be asked to contribute a share.

 

In the latest review of the CJRS, the Chancellor announced that from 1 July 2020, employers can bring back furloughed employees on a part-time basis. The news was well-received by those who are struggling with reduced staff numbers and increased workload as the country begins to get back on its feet, but are still unable to fulfil full-time wages.

 

Further guidance on flexible furloughing is set to be announced on 12 June.

 

Businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities are all eligible to apply, providing they created and began a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 28 February 2020 and have a UK bank account.

 

The scheme will close to new applicants on 30 June, so it’s important for employers to consider future circumstances and make a decision sooner rather than later.

 

For more information head to https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme