Everything you need to know about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
Last Updated: April 22nd 2020
What does furlough mean?
Furloughed workers are no longer able to work due to the coronavirus crisis, and will have 80% of their monthly salary covered by the government. They have not been made redundant.
Can I still work while on furlough?
You cannot provide any services for your employer or do anything which makes them money. The furlough scheme has been devised for those who no longer have any work to do due to the Coronavirus measures.
How long can I be furloughed for?
Initially the government said they would pay salary contributions of furloughed workers for up to 3 months, starting on March 1st.
So in theory the scheme would run until 31st May 2020.
On the 17th April the government confirmed that they would extend the scheme into June.
Who is eligible for furloughing?
Full-time employees, part-time employees, employees on agency contracts or flexibile/zero-hours contracts. You need to have been on the company’s payroll on the 28th February 2020.
When will I receive my furlough salary?
Applications for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme opened on Monday 20th April. The Government has said that once a company has submitted their application, they will receive the money within 6 days.
However, it’s important to note that your company is still paying you in the usual way (at the reduced rate, unless they decide to make up 20%) and then being reimbursed by the government. You should contact your employer directly to find out exactly when you will get paid.
Will I still pay tax on my furloughed salary?
Yes. Wages of employees on furlough are still subject to income tax and national insurance contributions (relative to the adjusted salary).
My hours have been reduced but I’m still working – can I be put on furlough?
No. Furlough is intended solely for those who no longer have any work to do. If there is still work for you to do, you should be paid accordingly by your employer.
Do I have to be furloughed for 3 months?
No. An employee has to be put on furlough for a minimum of 3 weeks, but can be taken off at any time after that.
How do I apply for the furlough scheme?
Your employer should take care of the process. They should inform you of their intentions to make you a furloughed worker and submit your details to HMRC through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
I started my job in March 2020 – am I eligible for Furlough?
When the scheme was announced, only those on a payroll on 28th February 2020 could be put on furlough. This was then extended to March 19th for those who had started a new job in March.
However, it may not be quite so straightforward. The condition is that ‘the employee must have been notified to HMRC through a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment in respect of that employee on or before 19 March 2020’
I am not a UK national – can I be put on furlough?
Yes. Companies can furlough all employees regardless of their nationality.
I usually receive bonuses and commission, will this be covered?
No. The government will only cover 80% of your base salary as outlined in your employment contract.
Can I volunteer while on furlough?
Yes, and this is encouraged, as long as you are not generating revenue for a company.
What happens to my job once furlough ends?
The hope is that business can resume as normal once furlough ends, and you will be able to carry on your job as normal too.
Companies are not obliged to keep furlough staff once the scheme ends, however.
Which companies can put employees on furlough?
All companies in the UK are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, if they need it.
Examples of those who have already furloughed employees include British Airways, Greggs, Nissan, and some Premier League football clubs.