Your employer is responsible for claiming through the Job Retention Scheme on your behalf and for paying you what you are entitled to. You cannot apply for the scheme yourself.
If you and your employer both agree, your employer might be able to keep you on the payroll if they’re unable to operate or have no work for you to do because of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is known as being ‘on furlough’.
Your employer could pay 80% of your regular wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, up to a monthly cap of £2,500.
You’ll still be paid by your employer and pay taxes from your income. You cannot undertake work for your employer while on furlough. We expect the scheme to be up and running by the end of April.
Am I eligible?
- Both you and your employer must agree to put you on furlough - so speak to your employer about whether they can claim.
- You cannot apply for the scheme yourself. Once agreed your employer must write to you confirming you have been furloughed to be eligible to claim.
- Any UK employer with a UK bank account will be able to claim, but you must have been on your employer’s PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020.
- You can be on any type of contract, including a zero-hour contract or a temporary contract.
- This scheme does not apply if you are self-employed or to any income from self-employment.
- If you’re on sick leave or self-isolating because of coronavirus (COVID-19), speak to your employer about whether you’re eligible - you should get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) while you are on sick leave or self-isolating, but can be furloughed after this.
- If you are shielding in line with public health guidance, then you should speak to your employer about whether they plan to place staff on furlough.
- The grant will start on the day you were placed on furlough and this can be backdated to 1 March
What if I've been made redundant?
Your employer can agree to re-employ you and place you on furlough. They’ll still be able to claim a grant to cover 80% of your regular wages, up to a monthly cap of £2,500 if you were on your employer’s PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020.
What if I have more than one employer?
Your employer will get a grant to cover 80% of your regular wages, up to a maximum of £2,500.
Firms will be eligible for the grant from the date you ceased work, from 1 March. Your employer:
- will pay you at least 80% of your usual monthly earnings, up to a maximum of £2,500, as your wage
- can claim for a minimum of 3 consecutive weeks and for up to 3 months - but this may be extended
- can choose to pay you more than the grant - but they do not have to
- Cannot choose to pay you less than the grant
You’ll still pay Income Tax, National Insurance contributions and any other deductions from your wage.
What if I'm pregnant and about to start maternity leave?
You should start maternity leave as normal. If your earnings have reduced because you were put on furlough or off sick before your maternity leave started, this may affect your Statutory Maternity Pay. The same rules apply to adoption pay, paternity pay and shared parental pay.
If you’re employed by an individual
What if I'm employed by an individual? (for example, as a nanny)
Your employer can furlough you under the scheme if you are paid through PAYE and were on their payroll on or before 28 February 2020.
What if I'm on a fixed term contract?
Your employer can choose to furlough you and claim a grant for 80% of your regular wages up to a cap of £2500 a month. Your employer can choose to renew or extend your contract during the furlough period.
What if your employee undertakes training?
Furloughed employees can engage in training, as long as in undertaking the training the employee does not provide services to, or generate revenue for, or on behalf of their organisation.
Furloughed employees should be encouraged to undertake training.
Where training is undertaken by furloughed employees, at the request of their employer, they are entitled to be paid at least their appropriate national minimum wage for this time. In most cases, the furlough payment of 80% of an employee’s regular wage, up to the value of £2,500, will provide sufficient monies to cover these training hours. However, where the time spent training attracts a minimum wage entitlement in excess of the furlough payment, employers will need to pay the additional wages (see National Minimum Wage Section for more details).