The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Blake-Turner Solicitors

Coronavirus: Employment Updates

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

  • The Government introduced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) on 20 March 2020 as an additional measure to prevent mass unemployment in the wake of COVID-19.
  • Under this scheme, employers can classify certain employees as ‘furloughed workers’ and notify them this decision has been made.
  • These workers are not expected to work as long as the employer is relying on the scheme.
  • HMRC must also be notified and provided with the existing salary information of employees to whom the scheme applies via the online portal; this system has not yet been set up and may not be ready until April.
  • Under CJRS, the Government will reimburse employers 80% of ‘furloughed workers’ wages up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
  • Payments under the scheme will be backdated to 1 March 2020, and it is expected to run for three months.
  • It is up to employers whether they top up the remaining 20% and how they choose to deal with higher earners.
  • For the time being, the Chancellor has not placed a limit on how many employees can be included in the scheme or what kind of business can rely on the scheme.

Employers eagerly await further updates, as some details of the scheme are unclear. The Government has yet to clarify whether certain employee benefits would fall outside of the 80%, or whether the many employees who have recently been made redundant can be rehired and included in the scheme. It is not clear how higher paid workers will be dealt with under the scheme. Furthermore, there are concerns that the system could be abused.

For more information and updates:

Rupert Farr is happy to discuss the latest developments with you. Please call him on 00 44 (0) 20 7952 6216.

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