FORESTRY and wood trade body Confor has welcomed the launch of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – but promised to fight on behalf of member businesses who will not benefit from it.

Employers can now claim online for a grant for 80 per cent of their furloughed employees’ salaries, up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee, per month. The scheme will be open until the end of June 2020.

Confor chief executive Stuart Goodall said: “We are aware that many businesses in the forestry and wood processing sector have taken advantage of the Job Retention Scheme and it is important that they are now able to access funds promptly.”

“However, we are also aware that there are businesses in the sector who cannot access the Scheme and even for some of those that can, the Scheme will not be enough in itself to protect their business from the effects of Covid-19. Confor continues to raise this point with governments as thoughts turn to economic recovery from the pandemic.”

It is suggested that employers read all the available online guidance before applying, and there is a step-by-step guide for additional help.

Employees are advised to speak to their employers with any questions as HMRC won’t be able to answer queries from individual employees.

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