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I am encouraging Llanelli businesses to consider applying for help under the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme to protect jobs and livelihoods in the West Wales economy under threat due to the COVID-19 crisis.

Under the scheme, the UK Government will cover 80% of “furloughed” workers’ wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions if they are put on leave.  The application process opened today with over 67k claims received in the first 30 minutes of opening for the funding, capped at £2.5k per worker.

Keeping as many employees on the payroll as possible will help them to deal with the immediate economic effects of COVID-19 and also go a long way to reducing the length and severity of any subsequent recession.

Claims should be made online and the scheme can be accessed by any organisation with a UK payroll such as businesses and charities. Subject to security and fraud checks, payment should be made by HM Revenue and Customs six working days.

The effective delivery of the scheme in getting financial help quickly to the frontline will be yet another key test for the UK Government.  I know that many businesses in Llanelli need help as a matter of urgency so we can’t afford for there to be any delays in either the application process or the payment of funds to local employers.

Detailed guidance on the Job Retention Scheme can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Applications can be made here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wages-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#how-to-claim s