Local MP welcomes job retention scheme boost for businesses

Julian Knight MP has urged local businesses to make use of the Government’s new Job Retention Scheme, which went live at the start of this week (Monday 20th).

Companies in Solihull which are affected by the Covid-19 crisis will be able to claim up to £2,500 a month towards staff wages. This money is accessed by applying for cash grants through HMRC’s new online portal, and is expected to reach their accounts within six working days.

This programme, announced by the Chancellor, allows employers to claim for up to 80 per cent of a furloughed employee’s wages. Millions of workers are expected to benefit, and high-profile chains including Pret a Manger, Brewdog, and Timpsons are using it to ensure staff keep their jobs and are paid whilst many high street businesses are closed.

HMRC’s easy to use portal has a step by step application process and up to 5,000 staff will be manning phone lines and webchat services to ensure any questions can be answered.

Commenting on the scheme, Julian Knight said:

“I’m proud that employees and businesses in Solihull and across the country have responded so well to lockdown, which remains a vital measure to help save lives and protect the NHS. But such an unprecedented freeze on economic activity undoubtedly creates challenges, and it is right that the Government is offering support that matches in scale what it is asking of the public.

“These funds will enable businesses to keep their employees on the payroll and stay fighting fit for when lockdown is lifted and we need to get the economy firing on all cylinders. I strongly urge any company in difficulty to apply.”


  • Employers can furlough anyone they employ, provided that on or before March 19 they were on PAYE payroll and HMRC has been notified of payment via the RTI system.
  • More information about government support for businesses can be found here
  • The link to the online portal can be found here