Blackpool accountants hail Job Retention Scheme as clients applications flood in

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A Blackpool-based accountancy and business advisory firm has hailed a government scheme to keep people in their jobs after being asked to make claims on behalf of 300 businesses in its first week.

In just its first couple of days, MHA Moore and Smalley processed more than 1,000 individual claims as part of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and expects to support businesses to make claims for thousands more employees over the coming days.

Following the announcement of the ‘furlough’ scheme in late March – allowing employers to ask staff to temporarily stop work, and then make a separate grant for 80 per cent of regular wages – HMRC opened the CJRS claim process on Monday, April 20.

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Adam Parton, partner at MHA Moore and Smalley, which has one of the largest payroll teams in the region, believes the scheme has worked smoothly so far.

Adam Parton of Moore and SmalleyAdam Parton of Moore and Smalley
Adam Parton of Moore and Smalley | other

Adam, who is leading a team of payroll professionals and senior accounting managers on the project, said: “This is possibly the government’s most valuable business support programme of all time, and the system has been far more robust than people first envisaged, especially because the claims calculation can be complicated when you have different types of employees working different hours and contract types.

“This scheme really has been a godsend and without it many more workers would already been made permanently redundant.

“I would urge all businesses to make the most of this scheme while it’s available.”

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The government has made the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) available until the end of June at the earliest.

It could allow an employer to claim back 80 per cent of an employee’s wages up to £2,500, plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions.

As furlough is a contractual arrangement, employers should review their employee contracts and take legal advice where appropriate, as well as keep full evidence of the process.