Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme claims total £31.7 billion

9.5 million employees currently on Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Claims to date under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme total £31.7 billion as at 26 July 2020, an increased of £1.9 billion since 19 July 2020.

According to HM Revenue and Customs’ (HMRC) data, 9.5 million employees in the UK have been placed on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) as of 26 July 2020. This includes 100,000 employees who have been placed on furlough since 12 July 2020

Its statistics also revealed that 1.2 million businesses have been utilising the scheme since it was launched in April 2020.

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Under the job retention scheme, the government will continue to pay 80% of furloughed employees’ wages, capped at £2,500 until October 2020, however, employers will need to start paying national insurance and pension contributions, representing 5% of employment costs, from August 2020.

Florence Brocklesby, founder at Bellevue Law, said: “The industries that we have seen most affected by unemployment so far, aviation, hospitality, leisure and retail, are soon likely to be joined by a raft of others. The Chancellor deftly deployed the CJRS scheme to prevent knee-jerk redundancies. But some businesses simply won’t be able to retain all their people as the scheme requires employers to contribute from 1 August 2020 and will close from the end of October 2020. Our view is that the true picture will begin to emerge in the next set of HMRC’s figures.

“This period has affected different businesses differently with some nearing closure or considering large redundancy rounds and other hiring as their demand soars. We don’t underestimate the scale and nuance of the challenges that the government is facing. Equally, we do need to see some fresh thinking about how to help working mothers and individuals with health concerns who have been disproportionately affected by furlough and redundancy.”