Following recent updates to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, leading umbrella employment company Parasol, part of the Optionis Group, has committed to support all furloughed workers with 80% pay until November.
The unprecedented decision will see Parasol absorb the full cost of employer’s national insurance (NI) and pension contributions for all of its furloughed contractors from August.
This comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed that the government will cut the grant available through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) from August. Therefore, in order for the scheme to continue, employers must top up wages to 80% and absorb the employer’s NI and pension costs. Government support will be further restricted from September, to cover only 70% of salaries, decreasing again to 60% in October.
Parasol’s unwavering commitment to support the contractor community means that as well as paying the NI and pension costs, it will also step in to top up employees’ salaries in September and October, at its own expense. This ensures that all of its furloughed contractors continue to receive 80% of their average income – up to a maximum of £2,500 per month – until the end of October, where employees remain eligible.
“We’ve always had the best interests of our contractors at the forefront of our minds and this announcement reaffirms our commitment to stand shoulder to shoulder with them through this challenging time,” said Optionis Group CEO Doug Crawford.
“We are a business that is driven by doing the right thing and acting compliantly at all times. Throughout the last few months, we have worked tirelessly to fight for the contractors we represent; to seek clarity on the furlough scheme for them and to ensure their voices are heard.
“With many of our umbrella employees eligible for CJRS support, topping up their furlough income to the full 80% until the end of October will come at a significant financial cost to our business. However, as the employer of choice for our sector, it is something we are fully prepared to do in order to offer on-going support and peace of mind to those impacted by this terrible pandemic.
“It is encouraging to see that businesses are reopening and new assignments are starting to come through again. We are hopeful this will continue in the months ahead, allowing our contractors to get back to doing what they love.”
More information on the support Parasol is providing for its employees is available on the company’s website here.