Job Retention Scheme Opening Welcomed By MP

Local MP, David Rutley, welcomed the opening of the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for applications and the much-needed support that this will provide for businesses and their employees in and around Macclesfield in these challenging times.

Through this scheme, the Government is stepping in and helping pay people’s wages, paying grants to support many jobs during the coronavirus pandemic. The job retention scheme, which opened on Monday 20th April, allows local employers to claim for a cash grant of up to 80 per cent of a furloughed employee’s wages, capped at £2,500 a month. It is expected to benefit millions of people across the country. 

Employers can apply for direct cash grants through HMRC’s new online portal – with the funds expected to arrive in their bank accounts within six working days. At the end of the first day of operations, more than 140,000 firms had already applied for the cash grant, which will help pay the wages of over a million people who would otherwise have been at risk of losing their jobs. 

To ensure the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme helps as many people as possible, the date by which somebody had to be employed, in order to be eligible for furlough, was recently extended from the end of February to 19th March 2020. This change is expected to assist over 200,000 employees. The Chancellor of the Exchequer has also announced that the scheme will be extended for a further month until the end of June, to reflect continuing social distancing measures. 

The job retention scheme is part of a wider package of measures set out by the Chancellor that will help protect local businesses and workers. Funding for Small Business Support Grants has been provided by the Government and is currently being distributed by Cheshire East Council. Support for self employed people is also important and many will be assisted through the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. 

Following the opening of the new scheme, David said “I am pleased that the Government’s job retention scheme is now live and will provide much needed support to many businesses in Macclesfield and across the country. Over recent weeks, I have been on many calls with local businesses, employees and self-employed people to address their concerns. I will continue to do all that I can to assist them and support the local economy in the weeks ahead. The job retention scheme and the wider programme of available business support are vital in helping to achieve these objectives.”