Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme goes live

The government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme went live on 20 April after Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended it until the end of June.

The scheme allows businesses to furlough their employees, with the government paying 80% of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500.

HMRC has emailed two million employers providing a link to a five-step guide to claiming, and has warned them to be aware of the scams that are circulating.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was initially open for three months and was backdated from 1 March 2020 to the end of May. The Chancellor stated that the scheme would be kept under review and extended if necessary.

He said: ‘We’ve taken unprecedented action to support jobs and businesses through this period of uncertainty, including the UK-wide Job Retention Scheme. With the extension of the coronavirus lockdown measures . . . it is the right decision to extend the furlough scheme for a month to the end of June to provide clarity.

‘It is vital for people’s livelihoods that the UK economy gets up and running again when it is safe to do so.’

The Treasury stated that further decisions on the Job Retention Scheme will take into account developments on the wider measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

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