Unwinding Furlough – damage limitation begins

Thus far we have been encouraged by government to take advantage of various grants and loans to support our practice and clients during the COVID lock-down period.

Of most relevance for the majority of clients has been the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), commonly referred to as the furlough scheme.

Last month, Rishi Sunak announced that the CJRS will be closed 31 October 2020.

Too little , too late and withdrawn too soon?

For business owners whose businesses have been severely affected by lock-down the realisation that government funding for their payroll is to be progressively reduced from August 2020, and withdrawn from the end of October is bad news.

Even with the easing of lock-down, businesses will struggle to regain pre-COVID activity levels due to ongoing social distancing restrictions. This will be of particular concern to the hospitality sector.

The reserves of seriously affected businesses may be running low and if losses continue the withdrawal of the furlough scheme may be terminal.

Time for advisers to step up to the plate

The economic consequences of the COVID pandemic are expected to be global and unprecedented. In the UK, we all have clients who have already cashed in their chips, cut their losses and ceased trading. Many others are struggling to make sense of the changing conditions and their options in the coming months.

Key in these concerns will be deciding which furloughed staff can be usefully returned to active duty and those that will need to be laid off or offered part-time working.

When making these decisions employers will need to see how their choices will affect their costs, their ability to regain profitability, prospects for sales, financing and solvency. These concerns are the bread and butter of our profession.

The question is how do practitioners, affected themselves by lock-down restrictions, make time to support clients in a purposeful review of their financial affairs without adding unduly to their clients’ costs?

Unwinding furlough – a possible solution

The resources added to our Fee Builder service for July 2020, may provide a solution. We have created a simple spreadsheet tool, workbook and other materials that you can use to roll-out a program of effective support to affected clients.

Included in the resources are a 10-minute task, a challenge to prove that the process works. All you need to do is make a phone call.

To see if these resources would work for your practice we are offering you free access to Fee Builder for 30 days. We will take all the risks. If you find what we offer does not help you support your clients you can cancel before any subscriptions are taken.

Like to see what’s on offer? Reserve your 30-day free access by completing our online order form here.

Ironically, the devastating consequences of COVID do offer all of us opportunities if we can step back and see what our choices are as we confront the challenges ahead.

From all of us at Landmark, our very best wishes to all readers as we all strive to meet these challenges.


Bob Edwards

Bob has been working with practices across the UK offering novel ways to improve cross-sales and increase new client acquisitions. He is also interested in "step changes" in legislation that offer challenges, and therefore opportunities, for practitioners to provide new recurring and one-off support services to clients.

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