Introduced in April 2020 during the height of the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme aka Furlough scheme was a welcome lifeline to employers and their staff who were worrying about what impact lockdown would have on their businesses, jobs, and income.
The government initially paid 80% of the wages of people who couldn’t work, or whose employers could no longer afford to pay them – up to a monthly limit of £2,500.
In July 2021 employers were required to pay 10% of salaries – with the government’s contribution falling to 70%.
In August and September, the government’s contribution was reduced further to 60% with employers paying 20%.
15 months later, we are coming to the end of the scheme, as the government hopes that individuals are slowly making their way back to work either from home or into the workplace and the scheme will end on 30th September 2021.
What does this mean for my business?
- There are so many ‘what if’ scenarios for businesses at the moment so people are understandably concerned about what the end of furlough will look like. You may have to prepare yourself for a worsening cash flow and potentially reducing staff numbers. The end of furlough will undoubtedly impact many businesses, so with such uncertainty ahead, scenario planning is certainly a good idea.
- The furlough scheme has provided businesses with significant financial support enabling them to retain employees, however, many businesses may find themselves in a position where they have not fully recovered and are therefore forced to consider further cost-saving measures such as reducing hours or redundancies.