Update 31/07/2020

Furloughed employees who are then made redundant will receive redundancy pay based on their normal wage, rather than a reduced furlough rate, under new laws.

Update 30/07/2020

As set out in LGA guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, claims under the scheme for periods ending or before 30 June must have been submitted by 31 July 2020. That is also the deadline for amending any previous claims to add any additional employees that may have been missed off in error. As of 1 August, although the Government will continue to pay 80% of wage costs, employers will have to pay employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that 80%

The government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October (Tuesday 12 May 2020). https://www.gov.uk/government/news/chancellor-extends-furlough-scheme-until-october.

From 1 July employers can only claim for employees who have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks between 1 March - 30 June.

Employers can flexibly furlough employees, meaning employees can come back to work for any amount of time and any work pattern.

Employers can will still be able to claim the furlough grant for the hours flexibly furloughed employees do not work, compared to the hours they would normally have worked in that period.

From 1 August, the level of the grant will be slowly reduced. No grant will be available for Class 1 employer NICs or pension contributions from 1 August although these contributions will remain payable by the employer

From September 1, employers will also be asked to contribute towards the cost of their furloughed employees' wages to ensure they continue to receive at least 80% of their wages for the time they're on furlough. Find out more information on how the amount of grant available through Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing.

Job Retention Scheme template

Employers claiming for 100 or more employees through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme can complete a template with the details of the employees they're claiming for and upload this template when they claim (for claims on or after 1 July 2020). Find the template here.

From the beginning of August, those who have been furloughed will be able to return to work part-time, with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff. The employer payments will substitute the contribution the Government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.

The Government will explore ways through which furloughed workers who wish to do additional training or learn new skills are supported during this period. It will also continue to work with the Devolved Administrations to ensure the scheme supports people across the UK.

Any employer - small or large, charitable or non-profit - will be eligible for the scheme.

Employers will need to contact HMRC who will administer the scheme - Government guidance has been issued at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme.

It will cover 80% of the salary of retained workers (those who are not working and furloughed but kept on payroll rather than being laid off) up to a total of £2,500 a month. 

It will cover all employees included on PAYE. Government guidance confirms it applies to all PAYE employees who were on payroll on 19 March 2020 (initially announced as 28 February 2020) and includes full-time employees, part-time employees, employees on agency contracts and employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts.

The scheme will be backdated to 1 March and is now open until end October 2020.

Job Retention bonus

The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees. To be eligible, employees will need to:

  • earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December and January
  • have been furloughed by you at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • have been continuously employed by you up until at least 31 January 2021.

Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021. More information about this scheme will be available by 31 July and full guidance will be published in the Autumn.