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CORONAVIRUS LATEST: Furlough scheme opens

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the government were delivering on their promise.

CORONAVIRUS LATEST: Furlough scheme opens

The UK government's coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) opened to applications at 8am this morning, allowing employers to claim for workers put on temporary leave due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The government has pledged to cover 80% of wages for workers who remain on the payroll, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month, in a process known as furloughing.

Employers must be registered for PAYE online and those intending to furlough over 100 employees must upload a document containing a number of details about each member of staff.

Once HMRC has checked the details, the money should be paid to employers within 6 working days, but employers can only claim for employees who were on the payroll on or before March 19.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "Exactly one month ago today I announced the unprecedented decision to step in and help pay people’s wages. We promised support would be available by the end of April – today, we deliver our promise."

HMRC have employed 9,500 staff to deal with any issues arising, including 5,000 available on web chat, and Adam Marshall, director general of the British Chambers of Commerce said a smooth process was essential.

"Our research indicates that two-thirds of firms have furloughed some portion of their workforce," he said.

"With April’s payday approaching, it is essential that the application process is smooth and that payments are made as soon as possible. Any delay would exacerbate the cash crisis many companies are facing and could threaten jobs and businesses.”

The CJRS can be accessed here for anyone needing to process a claim.

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