The information from the Government is changing all the time please check with them directly on the link below for up to date information.
As of the 27/03/2020 the goverment has stated "The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is a temporary scheme open to all UK employers for at least three months starting from 1 March 2020. We expect the scheme to be up and running by the end of April. It is designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)."
Link to the goverment page: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme
The goverment continues to advise "Employers can use a portal to claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ (employees on a leave of absence) usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage. Employers can use this scheme anytime during this period. The scheme is open to all UK employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020."
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