Under the terms of a new support scheme announced by Economic Development Minister Lyndon Farnham yesterday afternoon, some companies will no longer have to fund 20% of their staff’s wages up to a maximum of £1,600 per month as part of the co-funding agreement.
Previously announced support had seen the government cover 80% of staff wages, up to £1,600 per employee per month, with the business paying the remaining share.
But concerns were raised that many companies would not be able to pay their 20% because their revenues had reduced so much. Firms also had to confirm a drop of at least 30% in their turnover to qualify for the support.
‘The amendments we are announcing today provide additional flexibility for employers who are struggling the most,’ said Senator Farnham, ‘giving them the best opportunity to ensure their continued viability, and increasing their ability to retain their staff in employment.
‘Where a business can prove that it has insufficient working capital or cash flow to enable it to meet normal obligations, it will not be required to contribute a mandatory percentage to the scheme and it can therefore pass the value of the subsidy it receives directly to the employee – up to a maximum of £1,600.’
The Senator said that self-employed Islanders would also be entitled to the benefit.
He added that, unlike in the UK, firms would be allowed to continue to employ staff if they were not contributing to their wages.
‘As a result of the changes announced today, employers in Jersey – like the UK – will now be able, in specific circumstances, to be reimbursed for up to 80% of employee wages from the government,’ he said.
‘However, unlike the UK furlough scheme, that employer can still utilise the employee for work over this time. This contributes to positive activity in the economy and helps Islanders continue to work.
‘The full scheme is expected to cost up to £138 million over three months – and can be reviewed for extension if disruption continues after June 2019.’