The furlough scheme (also known as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) was first launched in March 2020 and has since been extended several times.
In its current form, the scheme pays 80 per cent of employees’ wages for the hours they cannot work due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
In the Budget 2021, the chancellor extended the furlough scheme until September 2021, with the following changes to employers:
- For July, employers will be asked to contribute ten per cent of wages
- For August and September, employers will be asked to contribute 20 per cent of wages
Until the end of September, businesses will be able to access funding to support continued payroll requirements for employees, either fully or partly furloughed.
Depending on when you hired an employee, you may or may not be able to add them to the furlough scheme.
For the period ending on or before 30 April 2021:
- Employers can claim for employees who were employed on 30 October 20202, as long as the employer has made a PAYE Real Time Information submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020
- Employers do not need to have claimed previously for an employee before 30 October 2020 to claim for periods from 1 November 2020
For the period starting on or after 1 May 2021:
- Employers can claim for employees who were employed on 2 March 2021, as long as the employer has made a PAYE Real Time Information submission to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 2 March 2021
- Employers do not need to have claimed previously for an employee before 2 March 2021 to claim for periods from 1 May 2021
Employers can claim for employees on any type of employment contract.
Foreign nationals are also eligible to be furloughed.
Grants under the furlough scheme are not counted as “access to public funds”.
Employers can furlough employees on all categories of visa.
For more information on the extended furlough scheme, eligibility and how much you can claim, visit this specific part of the GOV.UK website.