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18 April, 2020 Open access

Government publishes further details of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ahead of it opening for applications next week

HMRC to launch new online service on 20 April 2020 to support employers and furloughed employees impacted by COVID-19

The government has published further details of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ahead of it opening for applications next week.

Under the scheme, that was announced by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak on 20 March 2020, employers will be able to apply to HMRC for a grant to cover 80 per cent of the salary (up to a total of £2,500 a month) of workers who are not working, but who are furloughed and kept on the payroll rather than being laid off.

While it was initially intended that the scheme would be open for three months (with payments in respect of furloughed workers backdated to 1 March 2020), the government announced yesterday that, as a result of the coronavirus 'lockdown' and social distancing measures being kept in place for a further period, the Scheme will be extended to the end of June 2020.

Due to open for applications via a new online HMRC service on 20 April 2020, the government has now published further details of its operation, including -

In addition, an update to guidance for employees includes new information in relation to how to report fraud or abuse of the scheme, fixed-term contracts, holiday pay, returning from family-related statutory leave, sick pay and agency workers.