Update: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Find out more about the upcoming changes to the Government Job Retention and Self-Employed Income Support Schemes.

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has announced upcoming changes to the Job Retention Scheme in the UK to encourage the reintroduction of employees. Currently, staff can be placed on furlough and the government will pay 80% of their wages each month up to a maximum of £2500. Employers and employees should ensure that they are up to date with the changes and when they are due to take place.

The system will continue to operate in its current state until the end of July. However, from August, the government will continue to pay 80% of wages for furloughed staff but employers will be expected to cover the National Insurance and Pension contributions.

From September, the portion of wages met by the government will drop to 70% and employers will need to meet the remaining 10% as well as National Insurance and Pension contribution.

This ‘flexible furlough’ is being introduced as a new scheme and employers will only be able to access the scheme if staff have been placed on furlough by 10 June.

Employers will also be able to bring back furloughed staff on a part-time basis from 1 July. The furlough scheme can still be used to pay the wages of employees for the days that they are not working. Employers must meet wages in full for the days that employees work. Employers will have the discretion to decide the meaning of ‘part-time’ and should coordinate shifts for staff to work safely.

In terms of the self-employed, a lump sum of up to £7,500 is currently available for self-employed workers who have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak and this can still be applied for up until 13 July. The government have announced that applications will open for a second and final payment which will cover 70% of average profits up to £2190 per month for a further period of three months, meaning that a total of £6570 can be claimed. It is necessary to demonstrate that your work has been impacted by coronavirus in order to be eligible for the scheme.

We continue to remain open as usual and our employment team has been working hard throughout the pandemic to ensure that employees and employers understand their rights and responsibilities. If you have any concerns about how the scheme will impact you, contact us today on 01334 654 081.

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