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Help to pay workers

Government support will be available if you put people on unpaid leave (otherwise called furloughs or temporary layoffs) but don’t terminate their employment.

Employers can apply for up to 80% of pay, up to £2,500 per month (annual equivalent is £30,000).

So they will still be employed, the Government will help with their pay BUT they won’t be working. It’s called the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and Chancellor Rishi Sunak has promised that the money will be paid by the end of April.

The Chancellor has now confirmed that employees on zero-hour contracts can be included too.

We’re waiting for the full details to be revealed: how to apply and any restrictions. It looks as if HMRC will set up an online portal for you to enter details about “furloughed” employees that you want to claim pay for – but there are no details of the timescale for this or how long it will take for applications to be processed and the funding to become available.

This will involve some admin: entering details of any employee you’ll want to claim funding for.

We will update this blog with links as soon as we can. For now, here’s the HMRC guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-support-for-businesses

If you do this, you are suspending people from normal work and need to give them something in writing to document this. The minimum period will be 3 weeks.



Not employed? Currently the only option for self-employed people is trying to claim £94.25 a week in Universal Credit.  If you’re self-employed, you can see the details here: http://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/self-employment-income-support-scheme/

It’s more complicated if you have a limited company and pay yourself through PAYE each month, which many sole traders and owners of small businesses do. There’s a growing campaign to change this and if the situation changes, we’ll provide updates and links here.


The full range of support measures available for businesses can be seen here: http://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support/



By Brian



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