To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, what recent discussions he has had with UKRI on the reasons for UKRI funded early career researchers have not had access to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
22 July 2020
The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was designed to support employers whose operations have been severely affected by COVID-19 by providing them with a grant to help them to continue paying part of their employees’ wages who would otherwise have been laid off during this outbreak. The Government guidance states that where employers receive public funding for staff costs, and that funding is continuing, we expect employers to use that money to continue to pay staff in the usual fashion – and correspondingly not furlough them. For many early career researchers supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), this would have been the case.
The Government has worked with UKRI to ensure that appropriate guidance on the use of the scheme was available on GOV.UK and accessible through the UKRI website. A number of other measures have also been announced to support researchers affected by the pandemic. On 9 April, UKRI announced costed extensions of up to 6 months for PhD students in their final year whose research had been affected. On 27 June, £260 million of funding was announced for organisations to sustain UKRI grant-funded research and fellowships.