27 March Covid-19: Guide to applying the Jobs Retention Scheme

Norfolk Chambers are hearing from many businesses with lots questions about the new Jobs Retention Scheme and how is works.  Below is a guide of what we know so far, that will hopefully answer some of the questions.  But please be aware that there is more information to come from Government.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

What is it?

Government grants will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers, up to a total of £2,500 a month. The scheme, open to any employer in the country, will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st and will be open before the end of April for at least 3 months. 

The employer can choose to fund the differences between the grant and an employee’s salary but does not have to.

Am I eligible?

All UK businesses are eligible

What do I need to do to access it?

You will need to:

  • Designate affected employees as furloughed workers (when staff members are required to take an unpaid leave of absence) and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation. Workersshould not undertake work while they are ‘furloughed’.
  • Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required).

HMRC are currently working to set up a system for reimbursement as existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.If your business needs short term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

Who do I need to speak to?

HMRC. This scheme is currently expected to open by the end of April.

The Norfolk Chambers and the rest of the UK Chamber network have been compiling the business questions with the British Chambers of Commerce – here is the most Frequently Asked Questions: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme FAQs.


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