Furlough and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Using furlough

Employers might need to put some or all of their employees on temporary leave ('furlough') during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Furlough is where an employee or worker agrees with their employer to stop work temporarily but stay employed. Furlough must be agreed in writing.

From 1 July 2020, a furloughed employee or worker can agree with their employer to be put on 'flexible furlough'. This means they can work some of their usual hours and be put on furlough for the hours they do not work.

This can be a difficult time for both employers and staff. It's a good idea to make sure staff have a way to communicate with the employer and other people they work with.

Who can be furloughed

Any of the following can be put on furlough, whether they work full time or part time:

  • employees
  • workers
  • agency workers
  • those on zero-hours contracts
  • apprentices

Employers can also furlough those who are temporarily unable to work because:

  • they’ve been advised to stay at home by their doctor because of an underlying health condition
  • someone in their household has been advised to stay at home by their doctor
  • they have childcare responsibilities
  • they're caring for a vulnerable person in their household
Coronavirus: advice for employers and employees
Last reviewed