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New guidance for coronavirus job retention scheme


By Calum MacLeod

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Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.
Britain's Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak.

New guidance has been issued to employers on how to claim through the UK government Job Retention Bonus.

The Job Retention Bonus, worth up to £9 billion, is set to support millions of employers who have kept on furloughed workers

It will work alongside newly announced Job Support Scheme and could be worth more than 60 per cent of average wages of workers who have been furloughed and are kept on until the start of February 2021.

Businesses can claim for the bonus from February 15 until the end of March

The scheme is designed to continue to support jobs through the UK’s economic recovery from coronavirus by encouraging and helping employers to retain as many employees who have been on furlough as possible.

Employers will still be able to claim even if they are receiving support from the Job Support Scheme, which will protect jobs in businesses facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “The Job Retention Bonus is an additional boost employers can receive on top of the extensive support we’ve already put in place for businesses, including loans, grants and our new Job Support Scheme.

“I know how hard employers have worked to bring furloughed staff back, and this bonus, equal to a 20 per cent wage subsidy, will help ensure they continue to retain them.”

The £1000 Job Retention Bonus is equal to a 20 per cent wage subsidy for the employment costs of the average person previously furloughed, but for those on lower incomes, it equates to 40 per cent of wage costs over the three-month period to the end of January 2021.

This new guidance has been published ahead of the launch of the new Job Support Scheme on November 1. The scheme, launched by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Winter Economy Plan will run for six months and help keep employees in sectors facing reduced demand attached to the workforce.

Through the Job Support Scheme, the government will contribute towards the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours due to decreased demand. The scheme will be open to employers across the UK even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme.

Further guidance on the scheme will be published in due course.

Check your eligibility and find out how to apply here: www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-can-claim-the-job-retention-bonus-from-15-february-2021

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