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Job Retention Scheme: Urgent request for information by 24th April 2020

As members have previously been advised, the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, under which companies may furlough employees who would otherwise face redundancy and have 80% of their salaries met by the Government (subject to a limit of £2,500 per month),  is open to companies that meet the following conditions:

-           They have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020

-           They have enrolled for PAYE online

-           They have a UK bank account

Companies do not need to be based in the UK to benefit.  They may also furlough non-UK employees.  The Chamber has asked whether a Guernsey, Jersey or Isle of Man bank account will be accepted and a response is awaited. However it is not too late for a company to open a UK bank account.

The Chamber understands that, whilst some members are thus able to furlough their crew members, there are others who do not meet all of the above criteria and hence cannot benefit from the scheme as it currently stands.

In order to determine whether more companies and their seafarers can be brought within the scope of the scheme, members who do not qualify under the current rules are kindly requested to provide further information on:

  • the numbers of seafarers they would wish to furlough if possible
  • whether their crew members pay Class 1 or Class 2 National Insurance Contributions
  • whether their crew members qualify for the Seafarers’ Earnings Deduction
  • whether their crew members are employed on indefinite or voyage contracts.

It would be helpful if members could kindly indicate the numbers of UK and non-UK seafarers they would wish to furlough.

This information is urgently required by the Department for Transport in order that it can make representations accordingly to HM Treasury on the industry’s behalf. Hence members are kindly requested to forward the data as specified above to Tim Springett no later than 17:00 on Friday, 24 April 2020.

Also, members who have successfully applied for JRS assistance, or believe that they meet the current qualifying conditions to do so, are kindly requested to notify the undersigned.