On March 20, 2020, the UK Government and Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced a series of wide-ranging measures to assist businesses and employees through the COVID-19 crisis.
Included in the raft of solutions for businesses struggling due to the nation-wide lockdown and its detrimental effects on their profits were small business loans, grants and Government-funded support. However, possibly the most widely discussed topic was a new initiative that Sunak called the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’.
Essentially, the new scheme allowed companies to retain their staff, yet make them inactive through an electable furlough in which the Government agreed to pay 80% (or up to a total of £2,500 per month) of employees’ wages if the business agreed to scale back redundancies and keep workers on payroll.
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