SME firms shouldn’t be shamed into not claiming furlough

Finance experts are warning troubled businesses may be discouraged from claiming the money they need to survive.

This follows news of the furlough scheme extension and changes to the scheme, which will see HM Revenue & Customs publish the names of businesses claiming the funds online.

Employers who claim under the scheme for the month of December onwards will be published online by HMRC. This was announced as Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the furlough scheme deadline until the end of April 2021.

“Business owners have had an incredibly tough time this year, and the latest change to the furlough scheme should not discourage them from claiming the support they need,” said Beth-Anne Bruce, an AAT and ACCA-qualified accounts senior at the Accountancy Partnership.

“While some large businesses have publicly given back furlough funds they claimed earlier in the year,” Bruce continued, “many smaller firms are not in the same position to do so, and should feel no shame in using the government support to protect jobs and their future business.”

This warning follows criticism of employers earlier in the year who were shamed on social media for ‘flouting the furlough scheme by lazing in the park’.

Bruce added an urging to business owners and their HR departments to “make sure the jobs and employees they are continuing to support are viable, as some employees face the prospect of having been on furlough for as many as 12 months”.

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