On 20 April 2020 the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme went live for applications.
The scheme allows businesses to furlough their employees, with the government paying 80% of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is open for four months and was backdated from 1 March 2020 to the end of June. Chancellor Rishi Sunak stated that the scheme would be kept under review and extended if necessary.
There were applications from over 430,000 employers covering over three million employees in the first week of the scheme’s operation.
The Chancellor said:
‘We’ve taken unprecedented action to support jobs and businesses through this period of uncertainty, including the UK-wide Job Retention Scheme. With the extension of the coronavirus lockdown measures… it is the right decision to extend the furlough scheme for a month to the end of June to provide clarity.
‘It is vital for people’s livelihoods that the UK economy gets up and running again when it is safe to do so.’