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Belfast IT firm, Kainos decides to repay furlough cash

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Kainos, one of Northern Ireland’s largest employers, is to repay all the money it received from the government’s coronavirus furlough scheme.

The Belfast based IT firm said it is taking the decision to repay the cash they received as it was able to trade strongly during the lockdown period. It has also now withdrawn from the scheme.

Kainos had furloughed 131 out of its 1,700 employees.

A number of other firms across the UK, such as Games Workshop, have also decided to repay furlough money.

The furlough scheme involves the government paying 80% of salary for staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages of up to £2,500 a month.

It is understood that the firm used the furlough scheme for two months and will be paying back about £400,000.

“As part of the precautionary cost containment measures implemented earlier this year, we made use of the UK government scheme and placed 131 colleagues on furlough,” Kainos said.

“In light of our performance, we have withdrawn from the scheme and will be repaying the UK government for all previously claimed support payments.

“As well as returning all payments, we are pleased to confirm that we have ensured employment for all our people during this period.”

Kainos specialises in helping organisations to digitise their operations.

It is a major supplier to the UK public sector and during lockdown worked on pandemic-related projects, such as the NHS home testing service.

The company had taken the decision not to pay its annual shareholder dividend but now said it is able to pay a special dividend.

It is also continuing to advise staff to work from home for the foreseeable future.

“We continue to ask all our people to work from home, which we believe represents the safest possible environment for them,” it said.

Source: BBC News

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