Job Retention Scheme

Eligibility: All UK Businesses
How to access: Apply here

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until 30th September 2021.

The rules of the CJRS summer extension will remain largely unchanged. This means both full-time furloughing as well as flexible furloughing continue to be permitted, as at present, until 30 September. However, the scheme will be subject to a return of last summer's tapering provisions, with employers required to contribute 10% in July and 20% in August and September towards the hours their staff do not work as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICS) and pension contributions.

What you'll need to apply:

  • to be registered for PAYE online
  • your UK bank account number and sort code (only provide bank account details where a BACS payment can be accepted)
  • the billing address on your bank account (this is the address on your bank statements)
  • your employer PAYE scheme reference number
  • the number of employees being furloughed
  • each employee’s National Insurance number (you will need to search for their number using basic PAYE Tools if you do not have it, or contact HMRC if your employee has a temporary number or genuinely has never had one)
  • each employee’s payroll or employee number (optional)
  • the start date and end date of the claim
  • the full amounts that you’re claiming for including:
    • employee wages
    • employer National Insurance contributions
    • employer minimum pension contributions
  • your phone number
  • contact name

Flexible furloughing:

From 1 July, employers can bring back previously furloughed employees on a part-time basis. The employer pays for the hours worked and can claim the hours not worked under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

The deadline to introduce employees to the original furlough scheme (CJRS) closes on 30 June but in order to qualify for this an employee must have been furloughed on or before 10 June. Employees furloughed on or before 10 June are eligible to benefit from flexible furlough.

In relation to the hours not worked, the CJRS grant will be based on the usual hours worked in a pay period. The wage cap (£2,500 in July and August) will be pro-rated to the hours not worked.

Employers and employees will be able to agree any working arrangements or shift patterns for flexible furlough purposes. The new arrangement must be confirmed in writing.

If an employee has returned from maternity, shared parental, adoption, paternity or parental bereavement leave after 10 June, employers can still choose to furlough them, even if the individual is being furloughed for the first time provided:

  • the employer has previously submitted a claim for any other employee in their organisation in relation to a furlough period of at least 3 consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March 2020 and 30 June
  • the employee started maternity, shared parental, adoption, paternity or parental bereavement leave before 10 June and have returned from that leave after 10 June
  • the employer included that individual on an RTI submission on or before 19th March 2020

Claims may be made on a monthly or shorter basis, subject to a minimum period of 7 calendar days. Claims cannot overlap a calendar month. Employers are only able to make 4 claims in a calendar month.

You must have:

  • created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020
  • a UK bank account

Designate affected employees as "furloughed"
Notify employees of change in status and
HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs up to £2,500 per month

To be eligible for the grant employers must confirm in writing to their employee confirming that they have been furloughed. A record of this communication must be kept for five years.

You can only claim for furloughed employees that were on your PAYE payroll on or before 19 March 2020.

Employees hired after 19 March 2020 cannot be furloughed and claimed for in accordance with this scheme.

Employees can be on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts. Foreign nationals are eligible to be furloughed.

To be eligible for the grant, when on furlough, an employee cannot undertake work for, or on behalf, of the organisation. This includes providing services or generating revenue. Employers are free to consider allocating any critical business tasks to staff that are not furloughed. While on furlough, the employee’s wage will be subject to usual income tax and other deductions.

The guidance below sets out specific considerations for those individuals who are paid via PAYE, but who are not necessarily employees in employment law. Unless explicitly set out below, all other guidance is applicable to these cases, and should be followed.

Office Holders

Office holders can be furloughed and receive support through this scheme. The furlough, and any ongoing payment during furlough, will need to be agreed between the office holder and the party who operates PAYE on the income they receive for holding their office. Where the office holder is a company director or member of a Limited Liability Partnership (LLP), the furlough arrangements should be adopted formally as a decision of the company or LLP.

Company Directors

As office holders, salaried company directors are eligible to be furloughed and receive support through this scheme. Company directors owe duties to their company which are set out in the Companies Act 2006. Where a company (acting through its board of directors) considers that it is in compliance with the statutory duties of one or more of its individual salaried directors, the board can decide that such directors should be furloughed. Where one or more individual directors’ furlough is so decided by the board, this should be formally adopted as a decision of the company, noted in the company records and communicated in writing to the director(s) concerned.

Where furloughed directors need to carry out particular duties to fulfil the statutory obligations they owe to their company, they may do so provided they do no more than would reasonably be judged necessary for that purpose, for instance, they should not do work of a kind they would carry out in normal circumstances to generate commercial revenue or provides services to or on behalf of their company.

This also applies to salaried individuals who are directors of their own personal service company (PSC).

Salaried Members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs)

Members of LLPs who are designated as employees for tax purposes (‘salaried members’) under the Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act (ITTOIA) 2005 are eligible to be furloughed and receive support through this scheme.

The rights and duties of a member of an LLP are set out in an LLP agreement and in the absence of an agreement, default provisions in the LLP Act 2000, based upon company and partnership law. Such an agreement may include separate agreement between the LLP and an individual member setting out the terms applicable to that member’s relationship with the LLP.

To furlough a member, the terms of the LLP agreement (or any such agreement between the LLP and the member) may need to be varied by a formal decision of the LLP, for example to reflect the fact that the member will perform no work in the LLP for the period of furlough, and the effect of this on their remuneration from the LLP. For an LLP member who is treated as being employed by the LLP (in accordance with s863A of ITTOIA 2005), the reference salary for this scheme is the LLP member’s profit allocation, excluding any amounts which are determined by the LLP member’s performance, or the overall performance of the LLP.

Agency Workers (including those employed by umbrella companies)

Where agency workers are paid through PAYE, they are eligible to be furloughed and receive support through this scheme, including where they are employed by umbrella companies.

Furlough should be agreed between the agency, as the deemed employer, and the worker, though it would be advised to discuss the need to furlough with any end clients involved. As with employees, agency workers should perform no work for, through or on behalf of the agency that has furloughed them while they are furloughed, including for the agency’s clients.

Where an agency supplies clients with workers who are employed by an umbrella company that operates the PAYE, it will be for the umbrella company and the worker to agree whether to furlough the worker or not.

Limb (b) Workers

Where Limb (b) Workers are paid through PAYE, they can be furloughed and receive support through this scheme.

Those who pay tax on their trading profits through Income Tax Self-Assessment, may instead be eligible for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS), announced by the Chancellor on 26 March 2020.

Read more information on the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

Full guidance on the Job Retention Scheme can be found here:

Job Retention Scheme Phone Number

Due to measures put in place to stop the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) HMRC have fewer advisers available to answer your calls.

0800 024 1222

Opening times:

Monday to Friday: 8am to 4pm

News & Insights

Job Retention Scheme