A UK-wide Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is to be set up to help pay people’s wages. Employers will be able to contact Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (HMRC) for a grant to cover most of the wages of their workforce who remain on payroll but are temporarily not working during the coronavirus outbreak. Any employer in the country – small or large, charitable and not-for-profit organisations will be eligible for the scheme.
The workers’ support package means that UK workers who are placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can keep their job, with the government paying up to 80% of a worker’s wages, up to a total of £2,500 per worker each month. These will be backdated to 1 March 2020 and will be initially open for three months, to be extended if necessary.
The process for accessing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be as follows:
o The employer needs to designate employees as ‘furloughed workers’, and the employees must be informed of this change.
o Information will need to be submitted to HMRC through a new website portal, giving details of the employees and their earnings.
o HMRC will then reimburse the employees with up 80% of their wages (to a maximum of £2,500 per person per month). HMRC are setting up this system now, as a current one does not exist to perform this role.
HMRC hopes to get the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme up-and-running with haste and it expects the first grants to be paid within weeks.