The government must match lockdown roadmap with a ‘roadmap for business’

Following the prime minister’s announcement of the roadmap out of lockdown, Nicky Jolley, the founder and managing director of Darlington-based HR2day, is urging the government to update support for employers.

With months remaining until many sectors can open fully, the human resource expert is calling for an update to employment resources such as the furlough scheme. These changes can help to protect many North East businesses from making redundancies or possible closures.

The furlough scheme covers up to 80 per cent of an employee’s salary for the hours they cannot work, including bank holidays, up to £2500 per month, providing they were on the payroll as of 30 October 2020. Nicky has previously called for this date to be extended to consider the two national lockdowns since October, and any new hires appointed in this period.

Nicky said, “The road map that the prime minister announced is positive, and it shows a light to the end of a long tunnel. However, there are many months left and this time will be the most difficult for employers.

“The furlough scheme has been crucial to businesses over the past year, particularly those which have either been forced to close or are unable to operate at full capacity. Despite making a number of useful changes to the scheme, the government still hasn’t met the needs of many businesses that have taken on new staff since autumn 2020.

“The Chancellor also has an opportunity next week to extend business rates relief. This is a crucial time for many businesses and their employees, now the chancellor must make sure there are businesses left to reopen in April, May and June with an economic roadmap that will support employers and safeguard jobs through Easter and into the summer.”

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