Furlough and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Ending furlough

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) ended on 30 September 2021.

Employers must submit claims for September by 14 October 2021 and make any amendments by 28 October 2021.

Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on GOV.UK

About furlough

Employers could agree to put some or all of their staff on temporary leave ('furlough') during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This included 'flexible furlough', where an employee worked some of their hours and was put on furlough for the hours they did not work.

Putting someone on furlough included:

  • a temporary contractual agreement between the employer and employee
  • the employer claiming for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Pay during furlough

Employers had to pay staff on furlough 80% of their usual wages up to £2,500 per month – or more if that had been agreed with the employee.

Statutory holiday pay, notice pay and redundancy pay should have been based on what the employee would usually earn – not the reduced furlough rate.

Find out more about pay when on furlough

Ending furlough

When a furlough agreement ends, the employer and employee go back to their earlier contractual arrangements, unless a change is agreed.

To end furlough, employers should give staff notice in writing.

The furlough agreement might say how much notice to give. If it does not, there is no minimum – but employers should give as much notice as possible.

Employers should:

  • talk to staff about any plans to end furlough as early as possible
  • encourage staff to raise any concerns or problems about returning to work

Download a letter template to end furlough

Returning to the workplace

If an employer plans for staff to return to the workplace, they should consider:

  • flexible working arrangements
  • making reasonable adjustments
  • keeping the workplace safe
  • how the workplace might reopen

Find out more about planning to return to the workplace

If people have been on furlough for a long time

Employers should be considerate to staff who are returning to work.

They should consider:

  • employee wellbeing, including mental health
  • giving employees time to adjust to being back in work
  • offering training or refresher courses

If an employee has any concerns about returning to work, they should raise them with their line manager or employer.

Changes after furlough

Employers should discuss and agree any changes with employees and their representatives (for example, a recognised trade union).

They should follow the usual processes for:

Furlough agreements

Employers must:

  • keep the agreement for 5 years
  • keep a written record of how many hours someone works and how many hours they were on furlough (not working)

Both employers and employees might need this information in future to calculate holiday pay, notice pay or redundancy pay.

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