Furlough and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Claiming through HMRC's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

For an employer to claim through the scheme, they must:

  • have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020
  • have previously put an employee or worker on furlough for at least 3 consecutive weeks between 1 March and 30 June 2020
  • have enrolled for PAYE Online
  • have a UK bank account
  • be making a claim for each furloughed employee or worker for a minimum of 7 days in a calendar month

The furloughed employee or worker must have been on their PAYE payroll and included in a 'Real Time Information' (RTI) submission to HMRC on or before 19 March.

Changes to the furlough scheme

The furlough scheme will end on 31 October 2020. Employers will need to consider how this affects them.

Employers need to keep paying furloughed staff at least 80% of their usual wages up to £2,500 per month.

Recent changes that now apply:

  • employers must continue to pay any employer National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions
  • the government pays 60% of wages capped at £1,875 (since 1 October)
  • employers need to top up to 80% capped at £2,500 – or more if that's been agreed with the employee or worker

More financial support for employers

If employers need short-term cash flow support, they may be eligible for a 'Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan'.

The government is also introducing a 'Job Support Scheme' on 1 November 2020 to help protect jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

The Acas helpline is not able to advise on these schemes.

Find out more about other financial support for businesses on GOV.UK.

Financial support if you're self-employed

You may be able to get financial support through HMRC's 'Self-employment Income Support Scheme'.

The Acas helpline is not able to advise on this scheme.

Find out more about the Self-employment Income Support Scheme on GOV.UK.

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