Between the 15th and 17th April 2020, the British Chambers of Commerce conducted an independent survey in order to assess the impact Coronavirus is having on businesses, and also the effectiveness of the measures being implemented by the Government.
678 companies responded to the survey and the key data it revealed was as follows:
- 71% of companies who responded to the survey had placed staff on furlough, which is an increase from 66% the week before.
- 30% of companies had placed more than 75% of their staff on furlough.
- 59% of companies reported that they have three months’ cash or less in reserve.
It was perfectly clear from the results of the survey that the most significant concern for companies is cash-flow, which is far from surprising.
Following the results of the survey being published, the Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, Dr. Adam Marshall, said:
“With around 140,000.00 claims made on the very first day, this is a crunch week for businesses relying on the Job Retention Scheme to pay their staff. Our research suggests that over 70% of businesses will be using the furlough scheme in some form, so it is absolutely crucial that it delivers.
HMRC’s capacity to deal with the demand from businesses has been encouraging so far – and their staff working under immense pressure to get it up and running deserve our recognition and thanks.
It is now critical the payments from the furlough scheme reach businesses as smoothly and as quickly as possible in order to protect jobs and livelihoods.”
The recognition of HMRC and its hardworking staff was echoed by Heather Self from the Tax Advisory Firm, Blick Rothenbeg, when she stated, “HMRC are to be congratulated for getting a lot of things right in a very short time.” However, she did sound a note of caution by going on, “…but they need to be sympathetic in continuing to provide support to employers who are doing their best to comply with the complex system.”
It is still very early days for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, but the early signs are that it is working efficiently. It is, however, crucial it continues to do so, as the livelihood of so many businesses are depending upon it.
If you require guidance regarding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, or have queries in relation to any other aspect of employment or HR law during such unprecedented times, please contact Jonathan Moreland by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him on 0191 3842441.
With thanks and acknowledgement to Personnel Today for publishing the above data.