Large number of SMEs decide to furlough staff

Apr 23, 2020
Scott is the partner responsible for looking after the firm’s healthcare and medical sector clients. Scott also specialises in advising small businesses.
furloughing staff

Latest Statistics show that over 70% of SMEs have furloughed staff

The Chamber of Commerce has announced that over 70% of small and medium-sized businesses have furloughed at least some of their staff. These businesses are currently awaiting government funding from the Job Retention Scheme which is up to 80% of wages costs with a £2,500 monthly cap per employee. Survey results have shown that 71% of businesses furloughing staff has increased from the position last week of 66%, with 30% saying they have furloughed over 75% of their workforce.

Applications for the Job Retention Scheme opened on Monday and the Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that in the first 8 hours of opening they had registered over 1 million staff onto the scheme. However, Government budget forecasters have suggested that 30% of all employees could be registered on the scheme during a 3-month lockdown. Which would cost the Government an expected £42bn.

Official figures have suggested that 25% of businesses have stopped trading completely on a temporary basis. The remaining 75% of businesses have furloughed on average 20% of their staff as workloads decrease. The purpose of this scheme is to prevent the unemployment rate rising during this period, which we have seen in a number of countries around the world which could have long-lasting effects on the economic recovery. Additionally, it will enable businesses and employees to return to normality as quickly as possible once the pandemic is over.  

How to apply for this scheme?

The government will require the employer’s “ePAYE” reference. You can then use the “PAYE Online for Employers” portal to make your claim. These login details should have been sent to you when you first started using PAYE.

To check that you can access this portal please click here

It does not take long to apply for this service, but you will need authorisation codes which often take around 10 days to arrive. You will not be able to access the scheme without these details.

This information may change as the scheme is developed and we will let you know as soon as we know any new information.

To register for the scheme please follow this link:

How can we help?

At Hawsons we have a dedicated team of payroll staff at our offices covering Sheffield, Doncaster, and Northampton. Our experts can help you decide which government support scheme is best for you and your business. 

If you would like advice for our experts please book your free initial meeting here

Free initial meeting

Scott Sanderson

Partner, Sheffield