Jackie Baillie, MSP for Dumbarton, alongside West Dunbartonshire Citizen’s Advice Bureau, has raised concerns over the speed at which payments from the Job Retention Scheme will be delivered to small businesses in Dumbarton and across Scotland.
The local Citizen’s Advice Bureau is preparing itself for a sharp spike in the number of inquiries for financial support advice from this Friday. This is due to the fact that this Friday is the last Friday of the month and – for most small businesses – pay day. Applications for the job retention scheme only opened at the beginning of the week and there is a concern that small businesses will not receive payments in time to pay their employees this Friday.
Larger businesses who do not receive payments will have the ability to dip into reserve funds in order to pay employees’ their April salaries before taking advantage of JRS payments from next month. Small businesses do not have the same level of reserves and as a consequence may be left unable to pay employees on Friday.
The West Dunbartonshire Citizen’s Advice Bureau has already seen a rise in the number of inquiries which has come as a result of the unprecedented levels of universal credit applications being made. The Bureau are preparing themselves for a second wave of inquiries from the employees of small local businesses, should their pay cheque not arrive this Friday as expected. Due to the number of businesses who applied for the Job Retention Scheme payments, it is considered unlikely that all payments will be made ahead of this month’s pay day.
Jackie Baillie MSP said:
“It is very disappointing that small business employees risk not receiving their salary for April due to a slow turnaround in Job Retention Scheme payments. I believe that the fears of the CAB are entirely justified due to the fact that many of these businesses do not have a surplus of funds that they can dip into to tide over employees’ wages until payments from JRS are received.
“The Scottish and UK Governments must formulate urgent plans to shield both small business employers and employees from a lack of immediate payments. We know that the DWP are already overwhelmed by the number of Universal Credit applications that it has received – these applications will only continue to grow if employers find themselves unable to pay employees on Friday.
“I urge any local employees who are worried about their financial situation to get in touch with our local Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Their services are still fully functioning and they conduct advice sessions over the phone. All information for them can be found on their website and Facebook page.”