Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme goes live early and is extended a further month
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which is part of the Government’s package of measures to help businesses impacted by COVID-19 has opened for applications today, 20 April 2020, 10 days ahead of schedule.
The Government also announced on Friday 17 April 2020, that it is extending the scheme by an additional month to include June 2020, to reflect current lockdown measures. This will allow for businesses to claim up to £2,500 a month towards staff wages for furloughed staff, for up to four months.
Applications to the scheme are made on an online portal, with money expected to be paid to businesses within six working days. The government has announced that 5,000 staff will be manning phone lines and webchat services to answer queries that may arise from the application process.
With many companies due to make wage payments by the end of the months, this early start of the scheme will benefit a great number of businesses. Research by the British Chamber of Commerce suggests that two-thirds of businesses have furloughed a proportion of their workforce.
It is understood that successful applications made by 22 April 2020, will receive payment by the end of the month.
The portal can be accessed here
About the scheme
Employees that are furloughed must have been on your PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020. They can be on any type of contract, including full-time and part-time employees, employees on agency contracts and employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts.
The scheme also covers those employees who had been made redundant since 28 February 2020, if they are rehired by their employer.
To be eligible for the subsidy, an employee cannot undertake work for or on behalf of the organisation when on a furlough. This includes providing services or generating revenue. During this period, the employee’s wage will be subject to the usual income tax and other deductions.
For more information, read our post on the rules of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
- Further information about support for businesses impacted by COVID-19 can be found on our hub here.
- The link to the online portal to apply for the scheme can be found here.
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