Coronavirus: Furlough scheme launches for businesses


Rishi Sunak announced plans to keep struggling businesses afloat (Photo: PA Images)

The government scheme to help businesses and protect jobs during the coronavirus crisis is now open for applications.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme went live this morning (Monday, April 20) allowing businesses to claim up to 80pc of  wages for employees up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee. 

The launch of the furlough scheme is ten days ahead of schedule, reflecting the need for urgency for the many thousands of firms and employees across the UK - as it is believed that as many as nine million people will have been furloughed so far.

Anyone furloughed will still be paid by their employer and pay taxes but will not be able to continue working for them for the duration of the furlough. 

It comes as the Government was warned of the economic cost for many companies of any delay in its implementation. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced  that the scheme will now be extended for a further month until the end of June

Mr Sunak said: “Our unprecedented job retention scheme will protect millions of jobs across the country and is now up and running.

“It’s vital that our economy gets up and running again as soon as it’s safe – and this scheme will allow that to happen.”

Employers will need to designate affected employees as 'furloughed workers' and submit information to HMRC about their earnings through an online portal.

Around 5,000 HMRC staff will operate the scheme with the intention of the money reaching bank accounts within six days.

Commenting on the Treasury’s announcement that the Job Retention Scheme will be extended to the end of June, TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “This is very welcome news for workers and their families.

“If the scheme had not been extended, the deadline for redundancy consultation notices would have been tomorrow. So it was vital that this announcement came quickly after the lockdown extension.

“Employers must continue to make full use of the scheme to furlough workers and protect jobs. There is no reason to make any staff redundant.”

To make a claim click here -


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