Posted by Richard Woodman, Partner
Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) announced
The UK Government this evening (Friday 20 March) announced an unprecedented package of measures designed to protect jobs through the coronavirus crisis – strongly encouraging employers to think long and hard before making redundancies for this reason.
The key announcement is that the Government is introducing a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which will enable ALL businesses, regardless of size, to apply for grants to cover part of the salaries of employees who are “furloughed” (i.e. staying at home and unable to work) during the crisis. The grants will cover 80% of salaries up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
The grants will be backdated to 1 March 2020 and will be available for an initial three months.
The grants will cover as many jobs as necessary – with the first grants being available within weeks and with the intention of being completed by the end of April.
What this means for employers
Any employer considering making redundancies or lay-offs as a result of business downturn or closure due to the coronavirus crisis is being strongly urged by the Government to think twice in light of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
It is clear that any redundancy process currently underway or being considered must factor in the CJRS. Failure to do so is likely to lead to a finding of Unfair Dismissal by an Employment Tribunal.
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