As many as two thirds of UK businesses have applied for the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme according to a survey conducted by the Office of National Statistics on April 30.
Businesses have been able to apply for the scheme since April 20 which sees the government cover 80% of employee salaries - up to £2,500 per month.
It is hoped that the scheme will save millions of jobs.
When does the furlough scheme end?
Last month, Rishi Sunak announced that the furlough scheme would be extended to the end of June.
The scheme, which allows firms to furlough employees with the government paying cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500, was originally open for three months and backdated from the 1 March to the end of May.
However, the Chancellor said he would keep the scheme under review and extend it if necessary.
How do employers apply for the furlough scheme?
To access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, employers will need to take the following steps:
- Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
- Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through the government’s online portal
How soon will employers receive furlough funding?
Once HMRC have the claim and agree the employer’s eligibility a payment is made to the bank account supplied within 6 working days after making an application.
Employers are advised to apply for the scheme at least six days in advance of an imminent payroll
Coronavirus: The Facts
COVID-19 is a respiratory illness that can affect lungs and airways. It is caused by a virus called coronavirus and is spread primarily through droplets generated when an infected person coughs or sneezes, or through droplets of saliva or discharge from the nose.
What are the symptoms?
The NHS states that you should not leave the home if you have either:
• a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
• a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
What should I do if I feel unwell?
Don’t go to your GP but instead look online at the coronavirus service that can tell you if you need medical help and what to do next. Only call 111 if you cannot get help online.
What precautions can be taken?
Washing your hands with soap and water thoroughly. The NHS also advises to cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze; put used tissues in the bin immediately and try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell. Also avoiding touching eyes, nose and mouth unless your hands are clean.
When can I go outside?
The Government has put the UK into lockdown and instructed everyone to stay at home. You should only leave your home for very limited purposes:
• shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible
• one form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle – alone or with members of your household
• any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person
• travelling for work purposes, but only where you cannot work from home
However, these reasons are exceptions – even when doing these activities, you should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres apart from anyone outside of your household.