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Coronavirus and Job Retention

Posted on: Mar 25,2020

The Furlough Scheme

The Government has introduced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme) to help people keep their jobs during the coronavirus outbreak. If your employer cannot cover staff costs due to COVID-19, they may be able to access support to continue paying part of your wage, to avoid redundancies.

If your employer intends to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, they will discuss becoming classified as a furloughed worker with you. This would mean that you are kept on your employer’s payroll, rather than being laid off. The scheme allows your employer to claim a grant of up to 80% of your wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

You will remain employed while furloughed. Your employer could choose to fund the differences between this payment and your salary, but does not have to.

If your salary is reduced as a result of these changes, you may be eligible for support through the welfare system, including Universal Credit.

The Government intends the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to run for at least 3 months from 1 March 2020, but will extend if necessary.

SeeCOVID-19 Guidance for Employees, COVID-19 Business Support

Furlough Rules

  • Any UK employer, small or large, charitable or non-profit’ is eligible to access the furlough scheme.
  • Furlough is available if you were on your employer’s payroll on 29th  February 2020.
  • You must not work for your employer during the period of furlough which is from 1st  March 2020. It will be backdated and last for at least 3 months with extension if necessary.
  • If you have two jobs with two separate employers and are furloughed in one, you can continue working for the other.
  • Your employer will only be eligible to claim the grant once they have agreed the furlough with  staff and you have stopped working for the employer.
  • Your employer will pay your regular pay through payroll as normal. The furlough scheme pays a grant to your employer of through the HMRC Furlough Portal (which is still being built), of up to 80% of your wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
  • The grant covers all employment costs, including salary, employer pension contributions required by auto enrolment and national insurance contributions.
  • Which employees to furlough is a matter of negotiation between employers and employees.
  • Job sharing employees will have to negotiate who gets furloughed with their employer.
  • You do not have to accept furlough, but your employer can make you redundant if you refuse.

See also

Coronavirus and Sick Pay

Sick pay 

Coronavirus and Work – Keeping Safe

Coronavirus advice for employers and employees

Coronavirus Isolation Note

Courts and Tribunals COVID-19 preparation

Employment Tribunal Hearings during COVID-19 outbreak

Pay during Medical Suspension

Suspension on Maternity Grounds

Pregnancy and Maternity protection


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