NI's Kainos to repay all furlough money

  • Belfast-based tech firm Kainos has announced it will repay all the money it has received from the government’s Covid-19 furlough scheme, as it has been able to trade strongly throughout lockdown.

    Kainos, which is one of Northern Ireland's largest employers, had furloughed 131 out of its 1700 employees, and has also now withdrawn from the scheme.

    It used the furlough scheme for two months and it is understood by BBC News NI that it will be paying back about £400,000.

    Through the furlough scheme, the UK government has been paying 80% of salary for staff who are kept on by their employer, comprising up to £2500 of wages per month.

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    Kainos had also suspended its annual shareholder dividend as part of its pandemic response, but has now said it will pay a special dividend of 6.7p per share after assessing ‘the company's ongoing cash requirements under a range of scenarios’.

    A spokesperson for Kainos said: "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.

    "In light of our performance, we have withdrawn from the scheme and will be repaying the UK government for all previously claimed support payments.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

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

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    Kainos added that trading since April has been strong and they expect revenue to be well ahead and adjusted profit to be ‘substantially ahead’ of current consensus forecasts for the full year ending March 2021, according to BBC NI’s economics and business editor, John Campbell.

    Multiple other firms across the UK have also decided to repay furlough money, including Games Workshop. The decision has warranted widespread praise across social media, with one Twitter user referring to Kainos as "a shining example of an ethical employer with great values and integrity."

    Kainos specialises in helping organisations digitise their business, including UK government departments and other public bodies. It has worked on various coronavirus-related projects during lockdown for the UK public sector, including the NHS home testing service.

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    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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