Payroll Support is being reinstated with an intention to publish the details of all businesses who apply for help, however that caveat has been heavily criticised in some quarters, as it could put people off applying for support.
The States of Guernsey has enabled businesses to submit claims, starting from Monday 1 February, with payments backdated to the beginning of Guernsey's second lockdown.
The Payroll Co-Funding shcheme will initially see the States of Guernsey pay 80% of an employees wage at minimum wage. If lockdown continues beyond the 1 March a 100% payroll co-funding scheme will come into effect.
Pictured: The declaration needs to be ticked online if claiming payroll support.
Policy & Resources has made it clear that if you apply for payroll support, your details are likely to be made public.
“We’re in between a rock and hard place," said one business owner. "I don’t want to have my business details published to the public, but I need support to help my family and stay afloat."
When asked about these concerns during the latest media briefing, Chair of the Civil Contingencies Authority, Deputy Peter Ferbrache said: “We’ve heard them [the concerns] we’ll certainly take them into account and I, Deputy Soulsby, and the other members of Policy & Resources, will be discussing those concerns at our next meeting.”
Pictured: Concerns about naming those who receive financial support were posed to the Civil Contingencies Authority at yesterday's briefing.
The idea was mooted during Guernsey's first lockdown but was never carried through, partly because businesses had not agreed to it when they first claimed support.
The official guidance online, when applying for payroll support this time, is as follows:
“To ensure transparency of ongoing payroll funding, it remains the intention to publish information of those organisations claiming financial assistance through the Scheme. This may include details such as the name of the business or self-employed individual, number of employees claimed for and the total amount claimed. It may include aggregated information for the self-employed. This will apply to information provided on any applications for financial support, and payments made, after 4 May 2020.”
The discussion has spilled out onto social media, where business owner Ross Le Brun likened the decision to “being put in stocks.”
The States are caught between a rock and a hard place. If they don’t publish there is the public out cry of “it‘s OUR, tax payers money, we have a right to know where it goes“, if they do publish business aren‘t happy. Usual loose loose situation.— susann hatcher (@susannreul) February 1, 2021
Pictured: Some have acknowledged that there is no universally popular answer to whether the States should publish business information.
Fully agree with you, Ross. I’m shocked that there hasn’t been more of a backlash against this. It could be seen as engineering stigma to dampen demand for assistance. What’s next, publishing the names and addresses of benefit claimants?— James Roberts (@jroberts332) February 1, 2021
Pictured: Others feel the decision could be viewed as a way of reducing demand for help and have questioned the precedent it could set.
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