The Government has confirmed that the 20th of April will be the earliest that applications can be made to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The Government portal is currently still being tested but is expected to be ready from 20 April.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was set up by Government in March to help companies that cannot maintain their current workforce because their operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). Under the scheme, an employer 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 pension contributions (up to the level of the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contribution) on that subsidised furlough pay.
On 15 April, the British Chamber of Commerce claimed that one third of companies have furloughed 75% of their employees.
This temporary scheme in place for 3 months starting from 1 March 2020, but it may be extended if necessary and employers can use the scheme anytime during this period. Employers can claim for furloughed employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 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. However, all employers are eligible to claim under the scheme and the government recognises different businesses will face different impacts from coronavirus.
On 20th April the Government will open the online portal for applications and provide greater detail on eligibility and extent of the support this scheme will offer companies during the COVID-19 crisis.
To find out more about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme please visit the Government website here.