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Clarity: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance updated by HMRC

The online service to be used to claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is not available yet. HMRC expects it to be available by the end of April 2020. The scheme is designed to help employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) to retain their employees and protect the UK economy.

The scheme says that, if you cannot maintain your current workforce because your operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19), you can furlough employees and apply for a grant that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.

This is a temporary scheme in place for 3 months starting from 1 March 2020, but it may be extended if necessary and employers can use this scheme anytime during this period. All employers are eligible to claim under the scheme.

The original scheme, announced on 26 March 2020, has now been clarified. Accordingly, the guidance has been updated to reflect those new details.

A new Coronavirus Status Checker that will help the NHS coordinate its response and build up additional data on the COVID-19 outbreak has been launched. People with potential coronavirus symptoms are now being asked to complete the status checker and answer a short series of questions which will tell the NHS about their experience.

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