Furlough scheme launched

The Government’s furlough scheme (Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - CJRS) was launched today, 10 days ahead of schedule, with businesses able to claim up to £2,500 a month towards staff wages.

Employers can apply for direct cash grants through HMRC’s new online portal - with the money expected to land in their bank accounts within six working days. The easy to use portal has a step by step application process and up to 5,000 staff will be manning phone lines and webchat services to ensure any questions can be answered.

Millions of people across the UK are expected to benefit from the scheme, with businesses including Pret a Manger, Brewdog and Timpsons using it to ensure staff keep their jobs and are paid whilst many high street businesses are closed.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:

“Our unprecedented job retention scheme will protect millions of jobs across the country and is now up and running. It’s vital that our economy gets up and running again as soon as it’s safe – and this scheme will allow that to happen.”