Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

I welcome the announcement by the Treasury to extend the cut-off date for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to 19th March. Along with other MPs, I had lobbied Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer, to find a way to extend coverage to ensure new starters who started their jobs after the payroll cut-off date of 28th February were able to be included in the scheme.

Under the scheme announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak last month, employers can claim a grant covering 80% of the wages for a furloughed employee, subject to a cap of £2,500 a month. To qualify and to protect against fraudulent claims, individuals originally had to be employed on February 28 2020. But following a review of the delivery system and to ensure the scheme helps as many people as possible, new guidance published on Wednesday 15th April has confirmed the eligibility date has been extended to 19th March 2020– the day before the scheme was announced.

After listening to the concerns of my constituents – one of whom started a new job on the Monday following the 28th February cut-off date, it became clear there was a gap in coverage of the scheme. I am delighted the Chancellor has listened to these concerns also and acted to cover this gap.

The 28th February date was selected as it was the last date by which employers had to submit payroll information to HMRC for PAYE purposes when the Chancellor announced the scheme on 20th March. Since then, most employers will have completed an additional submission, meaning more data will be available.

In my letter to the Chancellor I wrote: “Whilst I appreciate this is an unprecedented crisis and whilst I accept HM Treasury is doing a great deal already to support as many people as possible, it should also be possible to provide additional coverage for those relatively small numbers of edge cases where such support would make a significant difference to both employer and employee.”

Constituents who are affected by this change should visit the link below for more details: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/furlough-scheme-cut-off-date-extended-to-19-march

If constituents have questions or need further assistance they can email jeremy@jeremywright.org.uk or call my office on 020 7219 2008.

As this is a fast-moving crisis please check www.gov.uk regularly for the latest updates. For local council support across the Kenilworth & Southam constituency please see this link: https://www.jeremywright.org.uk/news/local-council-support