Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme CJRS
▪ The scheme applies to all employers.
▪ Limited to lower of 80% of their salary or £2,500/month.
▪ Applies to wages paid from March 1st for 3 months and possibly beyond.
▪ No limit to government’s funding.
▪ In place “within weeks”, and “done” by end April.

This is not aimed at paying all employee’s wages as some are inferring It is there to pay only the wages of staff you would otherwise be making redundant or putting on zero hours, as a result of COVID-19. In addition, you, the employer will be expected to contribute to the pay.

The idea is to help keep your workforce solvent and intact until we get to the other side of the lockdown / limited working. There will be a lot of opportunities coming out the other side of this crisis and if you no longer have a workforce, you will not be in pole position to take advantage of them.

Furloughed Worker
CJRS introduces the classification of the “furloughed worker” A furloughed worker is someone you continue to employ but who is not doing any work for you – they are not working from home or off sick.

You pay their wages as before and you can claim 80% of that back from the state. So, you are still paying 20% of their wages even though they will not be working for you. That means employers will still bear a significant cost of saving employees from potential financial ruin There will certainly need to be some record keeping required behind all this to prove that the claim is genuine, but don’t get hung up on that now, just be honest on claims as you always would be and any paperwork needed can be put in place later.

CJRS is administered through HMRC.
You pay 100% of the wage to the employee and you then claim 80% of that back from HMRC – ever tried getting a refund back from HMRC? If so you, like I, will be wondering how long it will be before you get your money back.

Question: Will the 80% reimburse you for your employer’s National Insurance cost?
Answer: As yet unknown.

At the moment we know that the system for reimbursement is still being set up but that employers will be required to submit information about employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (again yet to be set up).

SSP Recovery
SSP is £94.25 a week for 28 weeks It is normally paid from day four but is paid from day one for Covid-19 absence. Normally employers bear the cost of SSP – they cannot claim it back from government (as they do for example on SMP). For Covid-19 absence, employers with fewer than 250 employees can reclaim 2 weeks of SSP. This is all backdated to 13 March 2020.
Sick notes are not required to make the claim but if the employer wants one for his own internal processes Isolation Sick Notes can be obtained from NHS 111 Online. (Seems a bit pointless since the employee is in effect writing their own sick note).

What qualifies as Covid-19 absence has not been defined but is assumed to mean those that suspect they have it as well as those that actually have it and those that are caring for someone with it. The repayment mechanism does not yet exist, further advice will be given.

Useful Links
GOV.UK summary support for businesses:

British Business Bank:

ACAS Guidance for employers:

NatWest pledges £5bn: