Rishi Sunak

Campaigners force government to partially close furlough loophole

The government has expanded the eligibility criteria for its coronavirus job retention scheme, following pressure from campaigners.

Last month, Scram News revealed a loophole in the Treasury’s job retention scheme, which pledges to cover up to 80% of furloughed staff’s salary.


We revealed that there was a huge group of people slipping through the net due to the scheme only covering those on company payrolls from 28th February onwards.

But today, following sustained pressure from Scram community members and online activists, who sent hundreds of tweets to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, the government has extended the date to 19th March, the day before the scheme was announced.

This means employers who were forced to furlough people who started a job before 19th March will be able to claim government support.

However, difficulties remain as the scheme still only covers those who had been formally logged on the company’s payroll by 19th March.

Posting on a Facebook group for those affected, one campaigner Adam Chan said: “This shows there can be movement, and that there can be more.”


10 responses to “Campaigners force government to partially close furlough loophole

  1. Sadly 99% of employers will notify HMRC when they do the monthly pay run at the END of the month – so most people who started employment in March will have missed the 19 March deadline even if they started work before this date. The Chancellor has raised a lot of false hopes and very little has been achieved!

  2. This is a feeble attempt by the Chancellor to make it look like they are listening to New Starters! The media has jumped on this as a welcome advance, in reality it helps very very few extra employees!
    We need everyone who has paid full tax in the last financial year to be included, after all we have paid for it already, and will continue to do so in the future.
    I chose to move jobs just at the wrong time. I have a contract, signed in February to start in April, but now have no income at all! We can’t live on thin air!
    It’s a disgrace that many get the Furlough benefit and hundreds of thousands of harding working tax payers get nothing!

  3. Last night there was light at the end of the tunnel now this morning their isn’t absolutely gutted

  4. RTI only goes through on the day of payment or at most a few days before payment meaning ALL employees on a monthly wage STILL don’t qualify for JRS . More than 85‰ of staff fall under this so it is a tiny number of the reported 200000 people who will benefit. Whilst it is great for that small number the majority are still being left behind.

  5. The government is using a blanket approach to this situation. When you break down what’s actually been revised, it really does not help many people at all. The positive is that our voices are making an impact. Although this may help a handful of people, there’s still tens of thousands of us left behind. I just hope they continue to listen as this is and never was our final outcome

  6. If people can’t be furloughed by their employer’s then they should be able to apply themselves and they should average 80% of there yearly tax contributions and pay them directly. Thats the fairest way to do it rather then leaving people out when it’s not their fault. These loopholes are causing so many mental health issues, anxiety etc and the same tax payers getting left out will be the same tax payers to help clean the recession crisis when this is all over. They are creating these loopholes on purpose, they are smart people and this is there way of saving some money.

  7. I struggle to fathom why he announced this tweak (nothing more) as his own CEO of HMRC stated on the BBC Today programme that MOST Companies run payroll and register RTI at the end of a month. Whatever we may think of the Chancellor he is an intelligent man and must have known that the VAST majority of people caught in this situation will not benefit at all. Yesterday was such a roller-coaster of emotions I fear for people’s mental health today. It is a very worrying time for hundreds of thousands, many have families and they are now desperate

  8. Although it may seem a help it is actually the opposite for some people. I changed jobs on 16th of March which ment under the old date I could approach my old employer for help. (I did and they werenot at all helpful) With the new date being the 19th of March I thought great but it appears that as I was paid a week in arrears, so March 27th would be the date of the payroll. So again I’m illegible. It seems strange that somebody who is in charge of the taxpayers money isn’t competent enough to find a formula to help people obtain an income. I never asked to be shutdown, I would rather be working perhaps if Rishi is unable to do the job should we look for someone who is?

  9. The UK government have proven to be liars and hypocrites. This slight change in dates is absurd. Been working paying taxes and claimed no benefits all my life yet now I am ineligible for any taxpayer funded government support which I have contributed towards like the vast majority here.

    1. I am the same with you Axel, I’ve never claimed any benefits. Have been a taxpayer working all my life with hardly Any breaks and the break I do get which is now and is forced!!! We should be entitled Being furloughed based on our income averaged throughout the year which is the fairest! The closure of businesses is Due to no fault of our own, planned change of jobs should not make us fall outside the system. I am not even eligible because my husband is still working from home and earning. But for me to seize income it is like having a rope tied around our necks with everything that we have to pay for. A mortgage holiday still means we have to fully pay for it when we can with added interest. It is not a relief or reduction so can not compare. We are still hit badly. After all of this we’ll get back to work and contribute once again to this economy that we’ll always remember left us out in the dark just to save some money. It isn’t right and someone can and should put it right

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