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Coronavirus: Advice for employers

Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended to the end of October 2020

On 12 May 2020 the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak,  announced the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) responding to fears that employers would make vast numbers of redundancies as a result of the CJRS being removed at the end of June 2020, which was the original planned end date when the scheme was first announced.

Mr Sunak confirmed that the CJRS would operate to the end of October 2020 without change to protect jobs but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work, in particular to the ability to bring employees furloughed under the CJRS back part time from August 2020, which is likely to be crucial and differs vastly from the current rules to claim under the CJRS of no work can be undertaken whatsoever for the furloughing employer whilst furloughed. He also clarified that the level of support for employers will remain at 80% of furloughed workers’ salaries from August 2020, although employers will be asked to share “the cost of paying people’s salaries” with the government.

Mr Sunak announced that full details of the changes to the CJRS will be published by the end of May 2020 and we will update you when we have this further Government guidance.

Tom Evans, Head of DTM’s Employment and HR Team comments “What is clear is that the above announcement comes as further welcome support from the government for businesses. May employers were worried about the government pulling the CJRS completely with zero support for business as at the end originally planned date of the end of June 2020, leaving many employers having to make tough decision about short time working, lay off, or worse still, reorganisations and redundancies. Whilst some or all of these options may still be unavoidable for some sectors hit particularly hard by Covid-19, the government is doing its best to support businesses and ride out the slow return to economic normality. What will be very important is for employers to still get the support of the CJRS whilst at the same time introducing part time working to slowly bring the work force back to full time working”.

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