The UK Government have set up the Coronavirus job retention scheme to protect jobs affected by the pandemic. Under this scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during the crisis.

The Government’s online portal to reclaim wages for furloughed workers in now live. Find out more in our article on claiming back wages for furloughed staff.

What is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

All UK businesses can claim back 80% of wage costs for workers that would otherwise have been laid off due to Coronavirus. The aim is to prevent firms having to make people redundant. The payment will be based on the existing earnings of each employee, up to £2,500 per month per worker.

What businesses are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

 All UK businesses that pay staff through PAYE are eligible.

How do you access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

  1. Designate employees as ‘furloughed workers’ - check out our article on Everything you need to know before you furlough
  2. Keep the relevant records
  3. Apply online via the Government Gateway online - see our article on Claiming back wages for furloughed staff

Can I reclaim the money straight away?

You can apply online now. The Government say they will pay the money into your bank account via BACS within 6 working days if your claim checks out.

I need more money to see my business through Coronavirus...

If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

How do I furlough someone?

It isn't as simple as telling someone you're furloughing them. You need to follow the correct process and keep relevant paperwork.

Check out our article on everything you need to know before you furlough for all the details.

Do I have to pay the additional 20% to top up furloughed workers’ pay to 100%?

This is currently unclear. Many people have interpreted current guidance to suggest that, no, it is not compulsory to top up staff to their usual salary level. However, we await further information on this. HRDept have a useful Coronavirus FAQ page that has additional information.

Where can I find more information about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

We recommend using the Government website for the most accurate and up-to-date information about any measures relating to Coronavirus. Information about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can be found on their COVID-19: support for businesses page.

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