Coronavirus support for businesses

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October, the Chancellor has announced. The scheme will continue to apply across all regions and sectors in the UK economy. Furloughed workers across the UK will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500.

The scheme will close to new entrants from 30 June. From this point onwards, employers will only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full three week period prior to 30 June.

This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June, in order for the current three week furlough period to be completed by 30 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.

From 1 July 2020, businesses will be given the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.

Individual firms will decide the hours and shift patterns their employees will work on their return, so that they can decide on the best approach for them - and will be responsible for paying their wages while in work.

From August 2020, the level of government grant provided through the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered to reflect that people will be returning to work. That means that for June and July the government will continue to pay 80% of people’s salaries. In the following months, businesses will be asked to contribute a modest share, but crucially, individuals will continue to receive that 80% of salary covering the time they are unable to work.

The scheme updates mean that the following will apply for the period people are furloughed:

  • June and July: The government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICS) and pension contributions. Employers are not required to pay anything
  • August: the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed
  • September: the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,190. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 14% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed
  • October: the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875. Employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500. For the average claim, this represents 23% of the gross employment costs the employer would have incurred had the employee not been furloughed

Employers will be required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period and actual hours worked. Employees who believe they are not getting their 80% share can also report any concerns to the HMRC fraud hotline. HMRC will not hesitate to take action against those found to be abusing the scheme.

A revised version of the guide that is clearer and includes recent additions to the process has been published.

Pay Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grants back if you have over-claimed

Find out how to pay all or some of your grant back if you've over claimed through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. You can:

Job Retention Bonus

The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees. To be eligible, employees will need to:

  • earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December and January
  • have been furloughed by you at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • have been continuously employed by you up until at least 31 January 2021.

Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021. More information about this scheme will be available by 31 July and full guidance will be published in the Autumn.

Updates to guidance (14 July 2020)

A number of updates have been made to guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS):

  • New guidance has been published on claiming for individuals who are paid through PAYE but not necessarily employees in employment law. This guidance can be found on the gov.uk website.
  • Guidance on calculating how much you can claim has been updated with information on claim periods ending on or before 31 August 2020. This guidance can be found the gov.uk website.
  • Information has been added to clarify that employers can continue to claim for employees while they are serving a statutory notice period. This information can be found on the gov.uk website.
  • Information has been added about the process HMRC is developing to recover overclaimed grant amounts through the tax system This information can be found the gov.uk website.