Government job retention scheme extended to support new staff

Newly hired employees may now be eligible to receive support through the government’s Covid-19 (Coronavirus) job retention scheme.

The government’s new guidelines, published on 15 April 2020, extend the eligibility date by a further three weeks, enabling employees who were employed on or before 19 March 2020 to receive financial supportWhen the scheme was initially announced, employees had to be employed by an organisation on or before 28 February 2020.

Under the government’s job retention scheme, employees who are furloughed will receive 80% of their wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. However, the employee must be on a pay-as-you earn (PAYE) system on or before 19 March 2020 to be eligible.

Paul Holcroft, associate director at Croner said: “In this uncertain time, employers will likely be relieved to hear that the government is offering them further support in situations where they are faced with laying-off staff and potentially losing them altogether.

“While it is not compulsory to use this scheme, it can serve as an alternative to a lay-off situation while helping both employees and workers to cover the many costs that are arising as a result of the outbreak. There are also no restrictions to be put into place; businesses of all shapes and sizes will be able to benefit from this.”