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.
Who is eligible?
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.
Both you and your employer must agree to put you on furlough – so speak to your employer about whether they can claim. Once agreed your employer must confirm in writing that you have been furloughed to be eligible to claim. Contact your employer if you do not receive confirmation.
If you are concerned that your employer has claimed on your behalf but is not paying you what you are entitled to as described in this guidance you should raise this with your employer in the first instance, then with the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).
Any employer with a UK payroll and a UK bank account will be able to claim, but you must have been on your employer’s PAYE payroll before or on 28 February 2020. You can be on any type of contract, including a zero-hour contract or a temporary contract. You can be furloughed under the scheme if you are a foreign national.
This scheme does not apply if you are self-employed or to any income from self-employment. You may qualify for support under the self-employment income support scheme.
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 or required to stay home due to an individual in your household shielding and are unable to work from home, then you should speak to your employer about whether they plan to place staff on furlough.
If you are unable to work, including from home, due to caring responsibilities arising from coronarivus (COVID-19), such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school and childcare facilities closing or caring for a vulnerable individual in your household, 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 2020.
If you were made redundant or stopped working for your employer after 28 February 2020
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.
If you currently have more than one employer
You can be put on furlough by one employer and continue to work for another. If you’re put on furlough by more than one employer, you’ll receive separate payments from each employer. The 80% of your regular wage up to a £2,500 monthly cap applies to each job.
If you are on Universal Credit
If you’re earning less because you’re on furlough, your Universal Credit payment might change – find out how earnings affect your payments.
If you are on maternity leave, adoption leave, paternity leave or shared parental leave
Your employer can claim through the scheme for enhanced (earnings-related) contractual pay for employees who qualify for either:
- maternity pay
- adoption pay
- paternity pay
- shared parental pay
If you are 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
If you’re employed by an individual (for example, as a nanny) then 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.
If you’re 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.