Q&As

Can a law firm furlough trainee solicitors under the coronavirus (COVID-19) job retention scheme?

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Published on LexisPSL on 14/04/2020

The following Risk & Compliance Q&A provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Can a law firm furlough trainee solicitors under the coronavirus (COVID-19) job retention scheme?
  • Furloughing trainee solicitors
  • The impact of a period of furlough on trainees’ training contracts

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was announced by the government on 20 March 2020. It is a temporary scheme running from March to October 2020, although the last date for an employer to furlough an employee for the first time is 10 June. The detail of the scheme is outside the scope of this Q&A, but broadly, it allows qualifying employers to designate certain employees as being ‘on furlough’, ie their employment will be suspended as a temporary measure, with a view to helping those employers whose operations have been affected by coronavirus to retain their employees and protect the UK economy. Under the scheme, HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers’ wage costs (calculated as set out in guidance on the scheme), up to a cap of £2,500 per month, per employee. The level of government grant provided through the CJRS will be slowly tapered from August 2020.

For more information on the CJRS, its duration, eligibility criteria and how to make a claim, see Practice Notes:

  1. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (original version to 30 June 2020)

  2. Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (original version to 30 June 2020)—FAQs, and

  3. Coronavirus Job Retention Sch

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