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With changes to furlough contributions from the Government from July, keep up to date with these frequently asked questions:

Information correct as of 3 June 2021.

Documents to refer to:

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.

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

For periods starting on or after 1 May 2021, you can claim for workers 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 individual. You do not need to have previously claimed for an indiviual before the 2 March 2021 to claim for periods from starting on or after 1 May 2021.

3. Who can be furloughed or flexibly furloughed?

Office holders, Company Directors, salaried members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), Agency Workers, Employees and casual/zero hours.  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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

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

No, there is no maximum.

7. How much are the Government contributing to wages?


Month % contributions per employee per month Can NI/Pension Contributions be claimed? Can a worker be either fully or flexibly furloughed?
June 80% (up to maximum of £2500) No Yes

80% in total (up to a maximum of £2500)

70% to be reclaimed through Government (up to £2187.50)

10% to be paid by employer (up to £312.50)

No Yes

80% in total (up to a maximum of £2500)

60% to be reclaimed through Government (up to £1875)

20% to be paid by employer (up to £625)

No Yes

80% in total (up to a maximum of £2500)

60% to be reclaimed through Government (up to £1875)

20% to be paid by employer (up to £625)

No Yes
8. Can we top up wages to 100%?


9. What is the deadline to make a claim?

June claim – deadline 14 July 2021

July claim – deadline 16 August 2021

August claim – deadline 14 September 2021

September claim – deadline 14 October 2021

10. When will the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme end?

30 September 2021.

 11. 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.

 12. 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.

 13. 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.

 14. 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.

 15. 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 clinically extremely vulnerable, or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus and following public health guidance these employees remain eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme even whilst shielding guidance is not in place and you do not need to be facing a reduction in workload to furlough these individuals.
  • Have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus, including those who need to look after children or caring for a vulnerable individual in their household.

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

 16. 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.

 17. 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.

18. 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).

 19. 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.

 20. 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.

 21. What if a worker is returning from maternity, shared parental, adoption, paternity or parental bereavement leave?

These individuals can be furloughed as long as they would have been on an RTI submission between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021.  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.

 22. 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 rate 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.

 23. 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.

 24.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.

25. 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.

 26. 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 could also continue to claim for contractual or statutory notice periods up until 30 November 2020.  However, the Government changed the approach for claim periods starting after 1 December 2020 and following that you now cannot claim for notice periods for any reason, whether it is redundancy, resignation, retirement or dismissal.