Responding with agility in the face of government dithering during lockdown

Here we go again…in the latest twist in the COVID-19 tale on Saturday 31st October, the government announced at the last minute that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will not be replaced by the Job Support Scheme (JSS) until December.

Previously the CJRS was to be replaced by the JSS from 1st November.

Even more sensational is that this announcement was made late on 31st October, via a seemingly poorly planned and executed press conference, 6 hours prior to the 1st November deadline for the planned transition between schemes.

This has left many companies who have already negotiated revised terms and conditions with their employees, and who diligently reconfigured and tested their HR and payroll systems – dazed and confused in the wake of the policy U-turn.

In response to the last minute government change, many companies now need to perform U-turns of their own, to revise contracts/letters agreed and signed by staff, and rapidly back out system configurations made to support the transition.


Dither Definition

Although the government suggested this would only be delayed by a month, there was a sense of impending doom lurking in the slides presented at the government press conference by thing 1 (Professor Chris Whitty) and thing 2 (Sir Patrick Vallance), flanking Boris himself – as NHS beds approach capacity.

The slides (where you could read them) lent a more sober and prudent view of life returning to normal “sometime in 2021”, so it may well be that the Job Retention Scheme is here to stay for more than a month.

You never know – they may even give us 24 hours notice to respond next time.

Oh and being told on a working day rather than sandwiched between the Rugby and Strictly Come Dancing would also be nice.

So we are rapidly re-instating the Job Retention Scheme (aka furlough) for a number of our clients who wish to make use of the scheme for another month, and collectively supporting our clients as they re-enter the twilight zone of national lockdown again later this week.

We are continuing to ensure that we are ahead of legislative changes (including the forthcoming JSS, assuming it happens), and that the elementsuite platform can be used to:

  • communicate and engage with all staff
  • monitor wellness across the company
  • remove “Excel Hell” with accurate calculation of furlough and flex furlough
  • record absences and facilitate holiday planning
  • measure productivity
  • provide real time people insights for your business

For more information on how elementsuite can help you during these unprecedented times, please get in touch


Post Written by

CEO, elementsuite
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