Information correct as of 13 November 2020.

Documents to refer to:

Extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Check if you can claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Other types of employees you can claim for

Check which employees you can put on furlough to use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Check if your employer can use the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Steps to take before calculating your claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: step by step guide for employers

Find examples to help you calculate your employees’ wages

 1. Which employers can claim under the CJRS?

Employers can claim under the CJRS whether they have previously used the scheme or not.  Publicly funded organisations should not use the scheme, partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where private revenues have been disrupted.  You must have registered with PAYE online.

  1. When should a worker have started employment to be eligible for furlough?

Employers can claim for workers who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on 30 October 2020.  The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March and 30 October 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for that employee unless they have re-employed an individual after 23 September 2020.

  1. Who can be furloughed or flexibly furloughed?

Office holders, Company Directors, salaried members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), Agency Workers, Employees and casual and zero hours workers.  Company Directors can carry out particular duties to fulfil the statutory obligations they owe to their company during hours which they are recorded as being on furlough.  However, they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provide services to or behalf of their company.

  1. Can apprentices be furloughed?

Yes, you must pay Apprentices at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage/National Living Wage/National Minimum Wage as appropriate for the time they spend training. 

  1. What is the minimum furlough period?

There is no minimum furlough period, they can last any amount of time.  However, the specified period claimed for must be for a minimum period of 7 consecutive days.

  1. Is there a maximum number of employees you can claim for from 1 November 2020?

No, there is no maximum.

  1. Can we reemploy employees who have left or were made redundant and place them on furlough?

Employees who were employed and on the payroll on 23 September 2020 who were made redundant or left (included fixed term contracts that ended) can be re-employed and claimed for.  The employer must have made a PAYE RTI submission to HMRC from 20 March to 23 September 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for these employees.

If an individual has had multiple employers in the past year, has only worked for one of them at any one time, and is being furloughed by their current employer, their former employer/s should not re-employ them, put them on furlough and claim for their wages through the scheme.

Please note reemploying individuals is your choice, there is no obligation for you to do so.  You should consider additional costs in terms of contributions, annual leave and whether further redundancy pay would be due if it would tip them into another year of service. 

  1. How much are the Government contributing to wages? 
Month % of wage to be claimed per employee per month Can NI/Pension Contributions be claimed? Can a worker be either fully or flexibly furloughed?
November 80% (up to maximum of £2500) No Yes
December 80% (up to maximum of £2500) No Yes
January 80% (up to maximum of £2500) No Yes
February

Unknown

(to be reviewed January 2021)

No Yes
March

Unknown

(to be reviewed January 2021)

No Yes

 Can we top up wages to 100%?

Yes 

  1. What is the deadline to make a claim for wages up to 31 October 2020?

The deadline is still 30 November 2020 for claims to be submitted for up until 31 October 2020. 

  1. When will the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme end?

31 March 2020.

  1. Can workers work some hours if needed?

Yes, the flexible furlough element of the scheme continues.  Workers can continue to work for employers for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for the hours not worked.  Workers cannot do any work for the hours that they are furloughed for and that you are claiming back under the scheme.  You can also fully furlough individuals if you need to, so they do not work any hours.

  1. What do we pay workers for the hours they work and don’t work?

The hours that the worker actually works for you will need to be paid at their usual rate in accordance with their contract of employment i.e. 100%.  The hours that they will remain furloughed for will continue to be paid at 80%.  You cannot pay them at any less than 80% for the hours not worked.

  1. How do we place a worker on furlough?

You’ll need to agree this with the employee and confirm the arrangement in writing.  The employee doesn’t need to respond in writing, but it is best practice to have a record of their agreement.

  1. What about retrospective agreements?

Any flexible furlough or furlough agreement made retrospectively that has effect from 1 November 2020 must be put in place up to and including 13 November for the purposes of a claim from 1 November 2020.

  1. What records do we need to keep?

A written record of the agreement for 5 years and a record of how many hours the individuals are working and how many hours they are furloughed for 6 years.

  1. Can we furlough those impacted by childcare or due to shielding as before?

Yes, workers can be furloughed where they are unable to work because they:

  • Are shielding in line with public health guidance. For information only those in the extremely clinically vulnerable group are currently advised not to attend work if they cannot work from home up until 2 December 2020.
  • Have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus, including those who need to look after children.

However, you do not have to furlough these individuals, it is the employer’s choice.

  1. Can we furlough those who are off sick?

Yes, if there are business reasons to do so (i.e. no work), you should not automatically furlough them though.  If somebody becomes ill whilst furloughed, you can choose whether to place them on SSP or keep them furloughed.  If somebody is on short term illness or self-isolation as a result of Coronavirus, they may be eligible for SSP.  The scheme is not intended for short-term absences from work.

  1. Can an employee be furloughed from more than one job?

Yes.  However, if they have had multiple employers over the past year, have only worked for one of them at any one time, and are being furloughed by their current employer, they cannot be furloughed by their previous employer. 

  1. What can workers do on the hours that they are furloughed for?

During hours which you record the individual as being on furlough, you cannot ask them to do any work for you that makes money for your organisation or any organisation linked or associated with your organisation or that provides services for your organisation or any organisation linked or associated with your organisation.  They can take part in training, volunteer for another employer or organisation or work for another employer (if contractually allowed).

  1. What training can workers undertake on furlough?

Furloughed employees can engage in training during hours which you record your employee as being on furlough, as long as in undertaking the training the employee does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation or a linked or associated organisation.  The individual must be paid at least the minimum wage for any training carried out whilst on furloughed hours – this will be key if they are paid minimum wage.

  1. What volunteer work can a worker do?

A furloughed employee can take part in volunteer work during hours which you record them as being on furlough as long as it is for another employer or organisation. 

  1. What if a worker is returning from maternity, shared parental, adoption, paternity or parental bereavement leave after 30 October?

These individuals can be furloughed as they would have been on your RTIA on and before 30 October 2020.  If an individual decides to end their maternity leave early to enable them to be furloughed with your agreement, they will need to give you at least 8 weeks’ notice of their intention to return to work and you will not be able to furlough them until the end of the 8 weeks.

  1. Can an employee still take annual leave during furlough?

Yes, an individual can continue to take annual leave on the scheme, and you can claim this through the grant.  You still need to ensure these days are topped up to 100%.  Holiday pay should be paid at the usual or where pay varies, calculated on the basis of the average pay the individual has received in the previous 52 working weeks.    However, they should not be placed onto furlough for the sole reason to take holiday.  Where and individual is on flexible furlough and holiday is taken, then these hours should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours.

  1. What should happen with bank holidays if usually employees have a bank holiday off?

If bank holidays are part of an employee’s 5.6 paid weeks or 28 days statutory holiday and they usually do not work on a bank holiday, employees must receive their usual pay for bank holidays.  If you don’t pay them their normal pay, then you will need to provide them with a day off in lieu.

  1. What should happen with the bank holidays if an employee usually works them?

Under the new scheme, they will be able to work these hours if you wish and you can offer them the hours.  If not, this can be included in the furlough period paid at 80% and they then take the day’s holiday whenever they wish as they usually would. 

  1. What if the employee has more than one job?

If your employee has more than one employer, they can be furloughed for each job. Each job is separate, and the cap applies to each employer individually. 

  1. Can an individual get another job whilst on furlough?

Yes, as long as your contract of employment does not forbid this.  If you contract says they must ask permission, then this would still stand as their contract of employment remains in place.

  1. Can redundancy consultation and notice (redundancy, resignation, dismissal) still be carried out whilst on the scheme?

Yes, redundancy consultations can carry on whilst an individual is on furlough.  You can also continue to claim for contractual or statutory notice periods up until 30 November 2020.  However, the Government is changing the approach for claim periods starting after 1 December 2020 and following that you will be unable to claim for notice periods for any reason such as redundancy, resignation, retirement and dismissal.  It doesn’t matter whether notice was served prior to 1 December you cannot claim for notice periods from that date.

Claims

  1. How do we work out what to claim?

Use the calculator.  There are some occasions where it can’t be used, please see here.  If you are claiming for an employee who is flexibly furloughed, you will need to work out their usual hours before you use the calculator.

  1. What do we include when calculating wages?

The amount you use when calculating 80% of your employees’ wages for hours not worked, is made up of regular payments you are obliged to make, including:

  • Regular wages paid to employees
  • Non-discretionary payments for hours worked, including overtime
  • Non-discretionary fees
  • Non-discretionary commission payments
  • Piece rate payments

You cannot include non-contractual elements such as tips, discretionary bonuses, discretionary commission payments, non-cash payments, non-monetary benefits in kind (such as a company car) and benefits received under salary sacrifice schemes (including pension contributions) that reduce an employee’s taxable pay.

  1. What do we need to know about claiming?
  • A claim must be for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days
  • Employers will need to report actual hours worked and the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period.
  • Claims must start and end within the same calendar month. If there are 2 months in a pay period, each claim must be submitted separately.
  • Claim periods cannot overlap.
  • Claims can be made in anticipation of an imminent payroll run, when they run payroll or after (once claims can be made from 11 November).
  • There will be no gap in eligibility between 31 Oct and 1 Nov.
  • You will be able to claim from 8am on Wednesday 11 November 2020. Payments are expected within 6 working days.
  • you can make your claim more than 14 days in advance of the pay date (for example, if you pay your employee in arrears)
  • Claims from 1 November 2020 must be submitted by 11.59pm 14 calendar days after the month you’re claiming for. If this time falls on the weekend then claims should be submitted on the next working day.
  1. What calculations do we use for calculating reference pay? 

Fixed pay

For workers that were on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020, regardless or not of whether they have been previously furloughed, for the reference period you should use the last pay period ending on or before 19 March 2020.

For new employees hired between 20 March and 30 October 2020, the reference period is the last pay period ending any time on or before 31 October 2020.

If an employee has worked enough overtime to have a significant effect on the amount you need to claim, you should use the calculation method for pay that varies.

Variable pay

For workers that were on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020 regardless of whether they have been furloughed before or not, for the reference period you should calculate 80% of the higher of:

  • The wages earned in the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020.
  • The average wages payable in the tax year 2019 to 2020.

For individuals hired between 20 March and 30 October 2020, you should calculate 80% of the average wages payable between 6 April 2020 (or if later, the date the employment started) and the day before they are furloughed on or after 1 November 2020.

The cap of £2,500 per month still applies.

  1. How do we work out usual hours for flexible furlough?

See Steps to take before calculating your claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme 

  1. Where is further guidance relating to claims?

Claim for wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Find examples to help you calculate your employees’ wages

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: step by step guide for employers