As welcome as the chancellor's announcement of the government-backed coronavirus job retention scheme was, businesses are calling out for details to enable them to make those all-important decisions now.
Amongst the details still to come is whether both employer and employee have to agree to designate the employee as a furloughed worker?
The suggestion is employers don't need to pay the balancing 20% — is that something an employee has to agree with in order to avoid the employer being in breach of contract?
- What if the employee's (or employer's) preference is redundancy?
- What about the impact on employees not designated as furloughed and who have to continue working?
With the 80% contribution being by way of reimbursement, time will be of the essence as businesses struggle to maintain cashflow.
Yes, the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme provides some comfort for planning by SMEs, but with confidence in business markets obliterated, will it be enough?
Time will tell, but, for now, it's a day at a time for many.
HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.