COVID-19 - How will the Government’s promise to pay 80% of staff salaries work?

On Friday 20 March 2020, the Government announced a range of support measures for businesses and employers, including a commitment to pay 80% of staff salaries. This is what we know at present:

Is there an eligibility criteria?
We understand that all UK businesses irrespective of size will be eligible

How long will it last?
It will last for three months initially, but the scheme might be extended if necessary.

What will it cover?
A grant for 80% of wages up to £2.5k per employee. There is no limit on the number of employees but they must be furloughed.

How will it be claimed?
The Government are in the process of setting up a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Employers will need to designate affected employees as furloughed workers and notify those employees of this change. Employers will then need to submit information to HMRC about those employees and their earnings through a new online portal, details of which have yet to be published.

Will it apply to employees who have already been laid-off?
Yes, provided those employees are brought back into the workforce.

Is the amount paid by the government repayable?
It is a grant, not a loan, so it will not be repayable

We will be releasing further information once it has been published, but if you have any queries in the meantime then please do not hesitate to contact us directly.

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