Workers Union praises HMRC for launching the scheme on time but warns there is still ‘much to be done.’
The Workers Union has issued a message of the support to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) as it battles to administer furlough claims totalling 1.5 billion pounds. 185,000 submissions were made on the first day of the state funded scheme, with some experts predicting that figure will reach over 11 million claims before the crisis is over.
Official statistics from HMRC reveal that the claims were made on behalf of 1.3 million employees.
The ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ (JRS) as it is formally known, opened for application on Monday the 20th of April. Eligible employers can claim for 80 percent of their employees wages, plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions.
Johnathan Morgan, The Workers Union economic affairs spokesmen said: ‘HMRC are to be congratulated for taking on the Herculean task of putting essential digital and administrative infrastructure in place in such a small space of time. That they have managed to do this without encountering significant problems is a credit to everyone involved. However, now is not the time for complacency. It’s more than likely that we’ll see millions more claims from companies with limited cash reserves as they look to shore up their accounts by putting staff on furlough.’
Mr Morgan went on to express concern that staff who who were not on the payroll before the 19th of March will receive no support from the JRS.
‘We note that the government changed the qualification rules from the 28th of February to the 19th of March. While this extends access to financial support to a few more people, it does not help new starters paid after that date. We strongly urge the Chancellor of the Exchequer and HM Treasury to look at this situation again and offer substantial alternative arrangements to anyone in this predicament. These hard working people have been victimised by this situation as much as anybody else and they should also be entitled to the help and support from the government. We hope that ministers will see sense and enter dialogue with us as we engage with affected members about this issue.’
The Workers Union – Britain’s hardest working union