Employers have had to familiarise themselves with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, part of a package of support for businesses affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. 
 
The scheme is intended to support employers to continue paying employees who would otherwise be made redundant or put on an unpaid period of lay-off as a result of the coronavirus crisis. 
 
It is open to all employers with a PAYE scheme, including public-sector employers and charities. 
Under the scheme, if a worker is designated as a "furloughed worker" during the coronavirus outbreak, a grant will be available from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) to reimburse you for 80% of the wage costs relating to the worker, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.  
 
Payments can be backdated to 1 March 2020. 
 
The worker should not perform any work for you while on "furlough leave". 
 
On 29th May, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced plans to 'ease back' the furlough scheme. 
 
From July onwards, furlough will be restricted to employers currently using the scheme or previously furloughed employees. 
 
Employers will also have to share more of the cost, paying employers' national insurance and pension contributions from 1st August. 
 
However, this means the last three-week furlough period for new entrants will have to commence on 10th June, as the scheme closes to new entrants on 30th June, which could mean a spike in the number of employers registering for it. 
 
Sue Bailey Consulting has been advising employers on many aspects of the scheme, so please get in touch if you need help. 
 
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