Law Firm Sees Surge In Employment Law Enquiries Since Introduction Of Furlough Scheme

LEADING law firm Nelsons has reported a spike in the number of businesses approaching its employment team for advice in recent weeks – with employers looking for advice surrounding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

Coronavirus was declared a pandemic on 11 March and, in a bid to help employers pay their staff during the crisis, the government introduced the CJRS, which enables businesses to recover 80% of wage costs up to £2,500 per month for employees on furlough leave. It was available initially for three months from 1 March and last week, was extended to the end of June.

Laura Kearsley, partner and solicitor in Nelsons’ employment law team, said:

“These are extraordinary times full of uncertainty for the UK economy. Therefore, the government has been required to step in to ensure there’s a degree of stability for businesses by creating the CJRS.

“Furlough leave is an entirely new concept and has been introduced as an alternative for employers who might have otherwise implemented redundancies, lay-offs or unpaid leave for their employees.

“As a result, we’ve received record numbers of enquiries from employers who require ongoing support to understand the new concept and how it could assist the survival of their business.”

Employers and employees will need to agree in writing to the employee being designated as a ‘furloughed worker’. Business owners will then need to submit details to HMRC through a new online portal, which went live on Monday, 20 April. 

Laura added:

“Millions of workers are expected to be furloughed because of the lockdown. When the government’s online portal for the furlough scheme went live, HMRC’s chief executive, Jim Harra, revealed on the BBC’s Today programme that 67,000 claims were made within the first 30 minutes. Therefore, a thorough understanding of it is crucial for employers and that’s where we’ve been able to help.

“We’re in a fortunate position that we can continue to work from home to support these enquiries and have all the necessary technologies available to enable smart and secure working throughout the ongoing pandemic.”

For more information on how Nelsons can support your business, please visit: www.nelsons.co.uk/managing-your-workforce. For the latest government advice on coronavirus, please visit: www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public

 

 

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