If your business has managed to negotiate the pandemic thus far without shedding staff you have probably made good use of the furlough scheme.

Unfortunately, in recent months the Government’s contribution to furloughed costs has been reducing, and at the end of October the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (loosely referred to as the furlough scheme) is closing down.

Last week, the Chancellor outlined his follow up plan – The Job Support Scheme (JSS) – and the response from employers has been less than enthusiastic.

The JSS requires employers to employ staff for at least 33% of their normal hours, pay one-third towards any furloughed time and cover NIC and pension costs. On this basis, employers would be paying more to keep three staff working part-time, each working one-third of their normal hours, than employing one person working full time.

Employers will therefore need to consider their options. Should they soldier on, attempting to keep the team together with Government support, or is it time to take a look at what the future trading position of the company is likely to be and plan accordingly?

Readers finding themselves unable to decide which way to jump may need to step back and take a fresh look at their options. To do this it may be necessary to create a detailed business plan or revise existing forecasts based on the evolving situation.

One thing is clear, the present COVID disruption seems unlikely to disappear any time soon. From 1 January 2021, we will need to cope with Brexit issues and the Chancellor keeps reminding us that the cost of funding coronavirus grants will need to be paid for…

We can help. Please call if you would like to discuss the best way to approach this challenging planning process.