If this Coronavirus crisis means your employer has no work for you, you don’t have to lose your job. The Government has opened a scheme which will pay 80% of your wages so you can stay at home and do your bit for public health, without being laid off.

From today your employer can apply to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, also known as putting workers on ‘furlough’.

Employers can now…

  • Go online to claim cash grants worth up to 80% of wages, capped at £2,500 a month per worker.
  • Apply for direct cash grants through HMRC’s new online portal – with the money expected to land in their bank accounts within six working days.
  • Furlough anyone they employ, provided that on or before March 19 they were on PAYE payroll and HMRC has been notified of payment via the RTI system.

Employers who cannot maintain their current workforce because operations have been severely affected by Coronavirus should apply for this scheme. If your employer has questions about applying for the scheme, the Government has produced a step by step guide. The link employers can use to access the HMRC web portal is here.

For many people, salary is paid at the end of the month. So your workplace may need to act quickly to make sure the scheme can cover your April pay. Check your employer has applied, and has everything they need from you.

This job retention scheme is an essential part of the Government’s support to help get staff and business through the crisis. I strongly welcome it and have been part of Labour’s shadow cabinet team that called for such a scheme early on and are keeping up pressure to make sure it works properly to ensure no workers are left behind. You can read more about this here.