The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will now be available until at least 30 June 2020. Payments under the scheme can be backdated to 1 March 2020 for employees who met the eligibility criteria on that date.
The scheme is designed to help employers furlough their employees with significant government support. Employers can claim cash grants of up to 80% for eligible furloughed wages to a maximum of £2,500 per month, plus the employer National Insurance contributions and minimum auto-enrolment employer pension contributions on that 80%.
There are a number of important conditions that must be met in order for an employee to be classed as a furloughed worked. This includes the following:
- Employees must be notified that they have been furloughed.
- Employees must be furloughed for a minimum of three weeks.
- The employee cannot do any work for the employer that has furloughed them.
The application process for the scheme was officially launched on 20 April 2020. The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak told the House of Commons on 27 April 2020 that the first grants have already started to be paid. Payments for claims made on Monday 20 April will be in the employers’ bank accounts by 28 April and are taking a maximum of 6 working days. When the Chancellor spoke, more than 500,000 claims had already been made and over 4 million jobs had been furloughed. Over 5,000 HMRC staff are working on delivering the scheme including those manning phone lines and webchat services.