On Friday 20th March, the U.K. Government announced various support measures for UK businesses. One of these was the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the “Scheme”), which it is hoped will reduce the risk that U.K. employers promptly dismiss employees in response to the Coronavirus outbreak. Further guidance was published on 26th March, providing some much needed detail on various aspects of the Scheme, which is expected to be operational by the end of April.
Any employer in the U.K. can access the Scheme for assistance with salary payments to those employees that would otherwise have been at risk of dismissal for redundancy and who are described for the purposes of the Scheme as “furloughed workers” (a new concept in English law). Some questions remain, but the key details of the Scheme are: