The government’s furlough scheme went live today, 20 April 2020. Under what is officially known as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the state will pay 80% of staff wage costs (up to £2,500 a month) so long as employers keep people on the books rather than making them outright redundant.
For avoidance of doubt, the scheme does cover migrant workers. HM Revenue and Customs guidance says:
Foreign nationals are eligible to be furloughed. Grants under the scheme are not counted as ‘access to public funds’, and you can furlough employees on all categories of visa.
Sponsors will still need to report that a worker has been furloughed, and any reduction in salary if not making up the extra 20%, according to Carter Thomas.
The government also published new coronavirus guidance for student visa sponsors today.