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Coronavirus: Your questions answered as furlough scheme opens

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Claer Barrett and Dan Thomas


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UK businesses are relying on the government’s job retention scheme to cover the cost of furloughing millions of workers. As the scheme goes live, the Financial Times wants to hear readers’ experiences of using it. 

Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, has promised to deliver an ambitious programme of state support for companies that have been disrupted by the effects of Covid-19. The UK job retention scheme promises to pay 80 per cent of the wage bill for workers who have been furloughed in the crisis, capped at a maximum of £2,500 per month.

Now extended until the end of June, the scheme is aimed at preventing millions of redundancies but nerves are jangling over its implementation. 

Online applications opened on Monday, barely a month after HM Revenue & Customs was asked to design the scheme. Now, the race is on to process applications and compensate companies before the payroll at the end of April. 

Live Q&A

Claer Barrett, the FT’s personal finance editor, and Dan Thomas, executive news editor, will take part in a live Q&A with readers at 12 noon on Tuesday April 21. You can watch the live Q&A within this story, or on the FT’s YouTube channel. 

If the furlough scheme has teething troubles, the consequences could be grave. Millions of people might not get paid this month, or if they do, it might bankrupt their employers.

There are also huge concerns that organised crime might find weaknesses to defraud taxpayers out of billions. Other companies and workers might fall between the cracks, finding they are not entitled to support.

To ask a question, or relay your experiences of using the furlough scheme, please leave a comment below. 

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