Sinn Féin MLA Caoimhe Archibald has welcomed the additional information made available by the British Government on its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, however further clarification is still required.
The party’s economy spokesperson said:
“The British Government has made further information available on the Job Retention Scheme.
“This answers some of the many questions elected reps and business organisations have been getting from both employers and employees.
“For example the guidance now states apprentices will be covered by the scheme, however the employer must make the apprentice’s pay up to the appropriate minimum wage.
“Employees who are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19) can also be furloughed.
“Office holders including salaried company directors are eligible to be furloughed and receive support through the scheme.
“However further clarification is still required on the overall eligibility for the scheme.
“The caveat of ‘operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)’ remains, despite the additional line that ‘all employers are eligible to claim under the scheme and the government recognises different businesses will face different impacts from coronavirus’.
“Therefore I would call on the British Government to explicitly state that any business that has to close as a result of COVID19 will be covered by the scheme. This should include all non-essential businesses and any business whose operations are impacted in any manner.”