Coronavirus: furlough extension welcomed

THE UK Government’s decision to extend its Job Retention Scheme to employees hired on or before March 19 has been welcomed by trade group UK Hospitality.

The scheme – which goes live on Monday, April 20 – allows companies to claim back 80% of the monthly wage of any furloughed employee, up to £2500 a month. When it was first announced only staff employed on or before February 28 were eligible.

That was amended on April 15 by chancellor Rishi Sunak and now companies will be able to claim for any furloughed employee who was employed and on the company’s PAYE payroll on or before March 19 – the day before the government-mandated shutdown.

UK Hospitality chief executive, Kate Nicholls, said: “This is great news for the sector and a welcome sign that the government has listened to our concerns and those of the workforce.

“This will provide some very valuable peace of mind for employees who had missed the previous deadline, and it will give businesses some breathing-room knowing that they will be in a stronger situation once they are in a position to reopen.”

The Job Retention Scheme website will go live on Monday, April 20. The UK Government has said that all claims will be paid within six working days.