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Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

There has been significant development of the Coronavirus Employment Support scheme over the last few days. The Scheme is going to fund employers to place workers on ‘furlough’ – perhaps best thought of as a sort of gardening leave. The grant will cover 80% of the regular wage or £2,500 per month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions and this is only available in respect of workers who are furloughed. They will remain on the pay roll but will not be able to work, although they can undertake training.

Crucially, and this was only clarified last night, companies will be able to take workers on and off furlough (for a furlough period of no less than three weeks) allowing a flexibility to rotate workforces, to enable manufacturers to keep facilities open with reduced staff to enable social distancing.

You can read the guidance, published last night, here for the guidance to employers and here for guidance to employees. It is worth reading both carefully as they are complementary. Claims against the scheme will be administered through an online portal which is expected to be in place by mid April.