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. It has been extended until 30 September 2021.

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 until the end of June 2021.

From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced and you will be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages. To be eligible for the grant you must continue to pay your furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they spend on furlough.

View a table showing the level of government contribution each month from July to September.

You can continue to choose to top up your employees’ wages above the 80% total and £2,500 cap for the hours not worked at your own expense.

Am I eligible?

Yes, if you are an employer who has:

  • created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 30 October 2020
  • is enrolled for PAYE online
  • has a UK, Isle of Man or Channel Island bank account

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

For periods from 1 November 2020 to 30 April 2021, you can claim for employees who were employed on 30 October 2020, as long as you have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC between the 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. This may differ where you have made employees redundant, or they stopped working for you on or after 23 September 2020 and you have subsequently re-employed them. You do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 30 October 2020 to claim.

For periods starting on or after 1 May 2021, you can claim for employees who were employed on 2 March 2021, as long as you have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee. You do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 2 March 2021 to claim for periods starting on or after 1 May 2021.

For periods ending on or before 30 June 2021 you can claim 80% of an employee’s usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. From 1 July 2021, the level of grant will be reduced each month and you will be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages.

You do not need to have previously claimed for an employee before the 30 October 2020 to claim.

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.

The deadline to claim for furlough days in April 2021 was 14 May 2021.

You can no longer submit claims for claim periods ending on or before 31 October 2020.

Find out more about which employees you can put on furlough and claim for.

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 six working days.

Important information

To be eligible for the grant, employers must have confirmed to their employee (or reached collective agreement with a trade union) in writing that they have been furloughed. 

You can:

  • fully furlough employees - they cannot undertake any work for you while furloughed full time
  • flexibly furlough employees - they can work for any amount of time, and any work pattern but they cannot do any work for you during hours that you record them as being on furlough

You will still need to pay employer National Insurance contributions and pension costs.

Next steps

Visit the UK Government website for further details on the scheme, eligibility and how to apply.

Support provided by HMRC

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