Latest summary of the Furlough scheme

Latest summary of the Furlough scheme


Last week the Government announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme would be extended from 2 December 2020 to 31 March 2021. The revised guidance has just been issued and will apply from 1 November, and below is a summary of the main points:-

  • 30 November 2020 is the last day employers can make a claim under the old CJRS scheme for employees furloughed up to 31 October 2020.
  • To use the new scheme, employers do not need to have used the old CJRS nor do their employees need to have been furloughed previously.
  • You can only use the extended CJRS if your operations are affected by COVID-19 and the employees employers claim for must have been on the payroll by 30 October 2020 and an RTI submission made for them between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020.
  • If an employer made anyone redundant after 23 September, they can take them back on, including those whose fixed term contracts expired after that date. The scheme will be reviewed from 31 January 2021 and is subject to further amendments which will be announced from 1 December 2020. This could be in relation to the percentages that can be claimed and whether you can claim, after this date, for employees who are serving notice / being made redundant. 
  • The furlough will continue to be on a flexible basis so employees can continue to do some work.  Any holiday taken while on flexible furlough counts as furloughed hours rather than working hours.
  • As previously, if an employer is reducing an employees’ salary and they do not have a short time/layoff clause in their contracts it is important to get the employee to sign the agreement to ensure employers do not face a claim for unlawful deduction from wages. If employers wish to backdate their CJRS claim to 1 November, they need to have agreed this with their employees and notified them in writing by 13 November (this Friday).
  • Claims to the scheme after 1 November 2020 must be submitted by 11.59pm, 14 calendar days after the month being claimed for. If this time falls during the weekend then claims should be submitted on the next working day.
  • HMRC will publish details of employers who make a claim under the scheme from 1 December 2020.
  • Employers can furlough those employees who are clinically extremely vulnerable or at high risk, who cannot work from home as well as those with caring responsibilities for either children unable to go to school or the vulnerable.
  • Women returning from maternity leave early need to give the statutory eight weeks’ notice in order that they can be furloughed and cannot be furloughed any earlier than 8 weeks.
  • There is no maximum number of employees that can be claimed for, unlike the previous furlough scheme where employers could only claim for the employees they had claimed for prior to June. 

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