Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) has been extended to the 30th September 2021, with employees receiving 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.

If an employer cannot cover staff costs due to coronavirus, they may be able to access support to continue paying wages and thereby keep them on the payroll. The employer must discuss with the employee about becoming classified as a furloughed worker.

There will be some changes to the scheme from July 2021 regarding employer contributions.

What will I receive?

Employers must pay a minimum of 80% of the employee’s normal salary (up to a maximum of £2,500 per month), some or all of which the employer will be able to claim back as a grant from the government.

How do I apply?

Employers apply to HMRC for a grant to cover the wages of the furloughed worker. They are not required to furlough an employee, so an agreement is required between the employer and the employee.

What can I do if 80% of my salary puts me in hardship?

Anyone in receipt of Tax Credits can amend their claim with HMRC. Universal Credit claimants can update their details through the online journal, although changes in salary/wages for those that pay tax through PAYE will be reflected in the Real Time Information (RTI) provided to Universal Credit by HMRC. Advice is available from both our Benefits and Debt teams for anyone struggling financially. Those in urgent need of assistance may be able to make a claim for short-term financial help.

Can I work elsewhere while on furlough?

This depends on the contract of employment with the existing employer. Furloughed workers cannot take other work that would result in their existing contract being breached.

What can I do if my employer refuses to make use of the scheme?

There is no legal obligation for employers to make use of this scheme. The best approach is for the employee to discuss this with the employer: in general the cost for the employer is limited, although this will change from July 2021 and it does require the employer to conduct additional administration to claim the grant. Another option would be for the employer to place the employee on ‘flexible furlough’, where the employee works reduced hours and wages for the remaining hours are covered under the CJRS.