Business: Coronavirus

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 31st March 2020.

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Photo of Caroline Lucas Caroline Lucas Green, Brighton, Pavilion

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, with reference to the guidance on Making staff redundant on, what recent assessment he has made of the effect of the requirement for a 90 day consultation where more than 20 staff are being made redundant on the ability of businesses to operate during the covid-19 outbreak; whether he has any plans to (a) amend that guidance and (b) provide financial support to businesses to meet the costs of temporary redundancy during the covid-19 outbreak; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Paul Scully Paul Scully Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy), Minister of State (London)

The Government is supporting businesses and their employees through a package of measures during this period of unprecedented disruption. In order to help firms to continue to keep people in employment, the Government has introduced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Businesses can put workers on temporary leave and the government will pay them cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a cap of £2,500, providing they keep the worker employed. They will receive the grant from HMRC, and all UK-wide employers with a PAYE scheme can self-certify that it has furloughed employees. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1st.

The scheme will help businesses to retain staff and reduce the need for full redundancies. The Government is continually reviewing what further support can be offered to business and whether amended guidance is appropriate

Businesses and employees can get advice on individual employment issues by visiting the Acas website. Businesses can also ring the BEIS Business Support Line for further advice on support for business.

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