By Stuart Brittenden.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“the Scheme”) is a grant that, for those eligible, covers 80% of the usual monthly wage costs up to a ceiling of £2,500 per month plus associated employer NICs and employer pension contributions paid on the furlough pay up to the level of the minimum automatic enrolment employer contribution. Employees can be on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts. Foreign nationals are also eligible to be furloughed.
There are three central features of the Scheme. First, it requires agreement to any necessary variations to contracts of employment. Second, to be eligible for the grant employers must confirm in writing to their employee that they have been furloughed. A record of this communication must be kept for five years. Third, the employer submits a claim to the Scheme for the benefit of the individual. The employee has no active involvement in the claims process. Entitlement is contingent upon the employer seeking their agreement to necessary variations and then submitting the claim.
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