Coronavirus: Chancellor moves to protect employees’ wages

23 March 2020 | By Neil Gerrard

Rishi Sunak

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a package of measures aimed at protecting employees during the coronavirus crisis.

The government will pay 80% of salary for staff who are unable to work but who are kept on by their employer, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, under what is being called a ‘job retention scheme’.

The wage subsidy will also apply to firms that have already had to make workers redundant due to the coronavirus, so long as they are brought back into the workforce and given a leave of absence instead.

Announcing the plans last week, Sunak said they were “unprecedented measures for unprecedented times”.

The cover for wages will be backdated to the start of March and last for three months but could be extended for longer “if necessary”.

Among other measures announced by the government are:


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