Last week, the Government announced that the current UK lockdown restrictions will be extended to at least 7 May.
Following this decision to keep the social distancing measures in place, the Chancellor confirmed that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will be extended for a further month into June - providing businesses with the certainty they need and keeping millions of people in jobs.
Under this unprecedented support scheme, any employer adversely affected by coronavirus restrictions - large, small, charitable or not for profit – who promises to retain their staff, can apply for a grant to cover most of the cost of paying people’s wages.
Government grants will cover 80 per cent of the salary of retained workers up to a total of £2,500 a month – above the median income. The Government will place no limit on these grants. The cost of wages will be backdated to 1 March and covers workers who were on a company’s payroll, and notified to HMRC, by 19 March 2020, the day before the scheme was originally announced.
When the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the scheme a month ago, the Government said that the online portal where companies could submit their claims for the scheme would be up and running by the end of April.
Thanks to a huge amount of work from the Government, and especially HMRC, that promise has been kept and the online portal opened for claims on 20 April – receiving 67,000 claims within the first half hour.
I encourage all employers within the Forest of Dean who are planning to utilise this scheme to submit a claim as early as possible.
Once a claim has been made, HMRC will check that the details are correct and then pay the claim amount by BACS into the claimant’s bank account. The payment is expected to be made within 6 working days of submission – this means that you must apply by today to receive money before the end of April.
To help constituents, I have set out some guidance on my website, including a link to the list of things needed to submit a claim. You can find the information via this link - markharper.org/coronavirus-faqs-businesses-0