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    Helping businesses and employees through coronavirus


    Head of Employment, Helen Crossland, details the measures being implemented to help businesses in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak.

    On Friday 20 March 2020, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer announced a range of measures to assist businesses and individuals through the current crisis. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme includes: 

    • All employers, regardless of size and sector, will be eligible for a grant under the scheme
    • Employers will be able to contact HMRC directly for a grant (further details regarding the mechanics of the process are awaited)
    • Grants will be available at 80% of gross salary up to a limit of £2,500 per month per worker
    • It applies where an employee is ‘furloughed’, in other words unable to perform their duties and would otherwise have been made redundant, laid off or put on unpaid leave or a sabbatical
    • The cap of £2,500 means those earning £37,600 or less could get 80% of their salary underwritten. Anyone earning above that salary threshold would be harder hit, but would still recover £2,500 a month. Employers can exercise discretion to top up salary
    • The grant will be backdated to 1 March 2020. This means those already been made redundant this month because of the Covid 19 outbreak could potentially be reinstated. Guidance is awaited regarding the repayment of any notice, redundancy or other termination payments already made to such employees
    • The grant covers anyone paid under PAYE, including employees and where relevant, casual, zero hours and gig economy workers
    • The scheme is in place for an initial 3 months, but may be extended
    • It does not apply to those who can continue to undertake some or all of their duties from home. For such individuals, businesses impacted by the crisis may still need to consider other initiatives to reduce salary costs, both for the short and long term.

    Should you have any questions regarding the above information, or need any employment related legal advice, please get in contact with Seddons’ Head of Employment, Helen Crossland, at, or 020 7725 8034.

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