To support you and your business through this difficult time, Garbutt + Elliott have created a useful guide which answers a number of common questions on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

What is our understanding so far for CJRS?

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis. The scheme will be in place for three months initially and all UK businesses are eligible.

How will I access the scheme?

You will need to:

• designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation.

• submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required).

It should be noted that employees must not undertake any work if they are furloughed.

How much is the grant?

The employer can claim a grant for up to 80% of furloughed employees pay up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The Chancellor announced that the grant would be backdated to March 1 2020. Employers do not have to make up the 20% in salary shortfall but it is currently understood that employers can choose to do so.

How do I inform the HMRC?

Information will need to be submitted to HMRC through a new online portal (further details of portal TBC by HMRC) and the salary subsidy will be paid through a new HMRC system. HMRC are creating a new IT software system to run the scheme and this may take until April to complete.

There are a number of questions still to be answered, for example, how this will apply to maternity absence and pay. It is also not clear whether directors and shareholders of owner managed companies can put themselves 'on furlough', or how it affects zero hours workers. We will update you with information as soon as the announcements are made.

Should you require assistance on any of the questions raised above, please contact Payroll Partner Sarah Ashton on, alternatively the Garbutt + Elliott team will be happy to help.