Reed Smith Client Alerts

Late afternoon on Friday 20 March, UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an unprecedented financial package aimed at protecting jobs and helping businesses to do that. We have highlighted the three key measures.

Authors: Gareth Amdor

UK police

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The centrepiece of the package was the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Simply put, any employer will be able to ask HMRC for a grant to cover 80% of an employee’s wages, up to £2,500 per month, for any employee who is not working but is kept on the payroll and not laid off – so basically to protect employees who might otherwise have lost their jobs.  

This is a ‘Government salary underwrite’ per employee of up to £30,000 per annum – and it doesn’t even come with a requirement for employers to top up the wages to 100%. They can do that if they want to.

This is an historic moment, as no British Government (Labour or Conservative) has ever done this – but then we are in uncharted waters.