Announced on 13th May, the JRS, also known as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended by 4 months. The furlough scheme will now come to an end in October 2020. This means that the government will continue paying 80% of furloughed workers salary up to £2,500 per month, but only until the end of July.
There will be some much requested flexibility that will need to be introduced into the Job Retention Scheme for the months of August until October. At this time employers will be allowed to bring back their furloughed employees into the business, but on a part time basis if this works better for the business and employees.
From August the furlough payments will be split between the employer and the government. It has not yet been decided how the cost will be split but this will be confirmed at a later date.
A CIPD survey reports that 76% of firms within the UK have already put at least some of their workers on the furlough scheme since applications opened on 20th April. CIPD strongly campaigned for the extension to the furlough scheme and embraced the recent changes.
The Chief Executive of CIPD, Peter Cheese, stated that these changes will give business owners the breathing space they need. It enables employers to look at ways to bring employees back into the workplace gradually, even if just on reduced hours while the lock down measures are unwound.
Here at Aspire Cambridge, we strongly agree that the extension to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a positive change. Without this extension and initial offer from the government, there would just have been a waiting room for unemployment as businesses could not afford to continue the employment of so many employees.
How the new furlough scheme will work is still not known and this will need a lot of work. Some businesses will not be in a financial position where they can share the cost of ‘topping up’ their employees’ salaries, even if there was an option to bring employees back on a part-time basis.
It is essential that business owners strike a balance that enables them to avoid returning to work too quickly as this could result in redundancies. There are a myriad of complex issues and employment law consequences that will result from the coronavirus pandemic. Employers need to be aware of this and manage employees with care.
More details on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extension are expected to follow by the end of this month. In the meantime, if you do have concerns about how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will work for you, your business and employees contact us today on 01223 855440.
Headquartered in Cambridge, Aspire Cambridge provide cost effective Recruitment and HR solutions to an impressive portfolio of customers spanning the UK and Europe. Working with a diverse collection of industries from start-ups to blue chip companies covering a vast range of sectors. Aspire Cambridge has an unrivalled knowledge of the jobs marketplace so it’s no wonder that they hold an impressive track record of exceeding client and candidate expectations.
How do they do it? By “Placing People First”.