Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extended

Today the Chancellor announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme (CJRS) will be extended until the end of October. Rishi Sunak pledged to support businesses and protect people’s jobs by:

• Extending the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme by four months, until the end of October. The Government will continue to support all employers by providing 80 per cent of furloughed employees’ salaries, up to £2,500 a month until the end of July.

• Providing flexibility to the scheme from the start of August, so that some furloughed workers can start to return to work part-time. The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July and the changes to allow more flexibility will come in from the start of August. More specific details and information around its implementation will be made available by the end of this month.

So far the Government’s  unprecedented, world-leading economic response includes an unprecedented package for the self-employed, loans and guarantees that have

 provided billions of pounds in support, tax deferrals and grants for small businesses.

The latest figures show:

  • 35,000 CBILS loans, worth over £6 billion, have now been put out;
  • Over 267,000 Bounce Back Loans worth over £8 billion have approved during the first week of the scheme;
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has protected 7.5 million workers and almost 1 million businesses

Support from Trades Unions and Business Groups

• The Trade Union Congress said it is ‘a big relief to millions of working families’. ‘The Government has listened to unions and extended the job retention scheme till Autumn. It will still cover 80 per cent of wages and has changed the rules to support short-time working, which is key to a gradual, safe return to work. A big relief to millions of working families’ (Twitter, TUC, 12 May 2020, https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/_b_jCE835CjRRGAsQGFD0?domain=e.conservatives.com).

• The British Chambers of Commerce said  ‘The extension of the Job Retention Scheme will come as a huge help and a huge relief for businesses across the UK. The Chancellor is once again listening to what we’ve been saying, and the changes planned will help businesses bring their people back to work through the introduction of a part-time furlough scheme’ (BCC, 12 May 2020, https://protect-eu.mimecast.com/s/_ltRCGv3jf9jjlyS1xGrZ?domain=e.conservatives.com).

Workplace Safety Guidelines

8 guides which cover a range of different types of work and can be accessed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19

  • Construction and outdoor Work – for people who work in or run outdoor working environments
  • Factories, plants and warehouses – for people who work in or run factories, plants and warehouses
  • Labs and research facilities- for people who work in or run indoor labs and research facilities and similar environments
  • Offices and Contact Centres- for people who work in or run offices, contact centres and similar indoor environments
  • Other people’s homes – for people working in, visiting or delivering to other people’s homes
  • Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery- for people who work in or run restaurants offering takeaways or delivery services
  • Shops, branches and stores – for people who work in or from vehicles including couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles, field and similar.