Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Support provided by HMRC

What does this involve?

This scheme is designed to preserve jobs and reduce the number of workers made redundant due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

If your business has closed or is struggling due to the pandemic, you can apply to furlough employees (put them on temporary leave) rather than make them redundant. Once furloughed, the UK Government will provide a grant to cover 80% of the wages of these employees up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, as well as the National Insurance and pension contributions that go with this subsidised furlough salary.

Am I eligible?

Yes, if you are an employer who has:

  • created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020
  • is enrolled for PAYE online
  • has a UK bank account

Any individual, business or other entity with employees can apply, including charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities.

You can only furlough those who were employed and on your payroll by 19 March 2020. This means you must have submitted an RTI to HMRC indicating a payment for this employee on or before 19 March 2020.

You can claim for employees on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts. Foreign nationals and employees on any form of work visa are also eligible.

What does this cost?

This is a free service.

Who is this for?

Any UK employer with a PAYE scheme can furlough their employees.

How long does this take?

Grants are normally processed in 6 working days.

Important information

Once you furlough employees, they cannot perform any work for you for the duration of the furlough period. They are allowed to do training or volunteer work during this period.

Changes to the scheme from 1 July mean that the final date you can furlough an employee for the first time will be Wednesday 10 June. 

Employees must be furloughed for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks. After each furlough period, you can apply to extend the furlough by at least another three weeks up until the scheme finishes.

Next steps

Visit the UK Government website to find out more about who can furlough employees. 

Support provided by HMRC

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