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FSB calls for further help for employers as furlough wind-down begins

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has called for the government to provide further help to employers as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) begins to be wound down.

From 1 August, employers have to pay national insurance contributions (NICs) and pension contributions for furloughed employees. Starting from this date the level of the grant will be reduced each month. Employers will take on an increasing proportion of pay for employees who are furloughed.

The CJRS will close at the end of October, and will be followed by the Job Retention Bonus, which will see UK employers receive a one-off payment of £1,000 for each furloughed employee who is still employed as of 31 January 2021.

Commenting on the matter, Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the FSB, said: 'One in five small firms have been forced to let staff go over the last three months. Even with critical emergency measures in place, jobs are sadly being lost in the here and now.

'As we look to the autumn, it's clear that we cannot afford to pull up the business support drawbridge any time soon. Giving firms £1,000 for every employee they bring back from furlough is welcome, but Job Retention Bonus funds won't manifest until next year – jobs are being lost today.'

The FSB is urging the government to help employers in regard to NICs, either through an uprating of the Employment Allowance or an NICs holiday for firms who employ those furthest from the workplace.