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It has just been announced (15/04/2020) that the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (which covers 80% of workers’ pay up to £2,500.00 per month) will be extended to include workers more recently employed. 

Initially, the Scheme only made provisions for workers who were on their employers’ payrolls on or before 28 February 2020. However, this has now been extended to include provisions for workers who were on their employers’ payrolls on or before 19 March 2020 (the day before the Scheme was first announced).

This now means that workers placed upon their employers’ payroll between 1 March 2020 and 19 March 2020 are eligible to be placed upon furlough leave under the Scheme and employers will be able to benefit from making a claim in respect of those furloughed employees.  

However, many newly employed workers may still miss out on benefitting from the Scheme if they were not placed upon their employers’ payrolls until after 19 March 2020, as the Scheme is unlikely to cover new employees paid at the end of March. Employers would need to have notified HM Revenue and Customs of the new employee being placed on the payroll, which is done by way of the Real Time Information system (which updates HMRC when a worker is paid).

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is initially open for 3 months and is currently set to run until 1 June 2020, however, there are fears that some employers may be turning to redundancy already as no clarity has been provided as to whether the Scheme will be extended.

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