Job Retention Scheme




Key points
Job Retention Bonus
Bringing your employees back to work
While you’re on Furlough



    • The scheme will end on 31 October. A new Job Support Scheme will be introduced from 1 November to protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand over the winter months due to coronavirus. Find out more here
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  • For September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers will pay National Insurance and pension contributions and top up employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500, for time they are furloughed

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Key points


    • You on Universal Credit and you’re earning less because you’re on furlough – your Universal Credit payment might change. Find out how earnings affect your payments.
    • You are on maternity leave, adoption leave, paternity leave or shared parental leave – the normal rules for maternity and other forms of parental leave and pay apply.
    • You are pregnant and about to start maternity leave – 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.
    • Please note that people on paternity and maternity leave who return to work in the coming months will be eligible for the government’s furlough scheme even after the 10 June cut-off date, as announced by the Treasury on 9 June. The full announcement can be found here:

Returning from Statutory Leave:

Statutory leave includes maternity leave, paternity leave, shared parental leave, adoption leave, sick leave and parental bereavement leave.

In line with other employees, if you are a full or part time employee furloughed on return from statutory leave your employer should calculate the grant against your salary, before tax, not the pay you received whilst on statutory leave.

If your pay varies, and you are furloughed on your return from statutory leave, your employer should calculate the grant using either the:

  • same month’s earning from the previous year
  • average monthly earnings for the 2019-2020 tax year.


  • The Job Retention Bonus is a one-off payment of £1,000 to employers that have used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for each furloughed employee who remains continuously employed until 31 January 2021. The bonus will provide additional support to retain employees.

To be eligible, employees will need to:

  • Earn at least £520 per month (above the Lower Earnings Limit) on average for November, December and January
  • Have been furloughed at any point and legitimately claimed for under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
  • Have been continuously employed up until at least 31 January 2021

Employers will be able to claim the bonus from February 2021. More information about the scheme can be found here.



From 1 July, employers can bring back to work employees that have previously been furloughed for any amount of time and any shift pattern, while still being able to claim CJRS grant for their normal hours not worked. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours; employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week.

The Job Retention Scheme closed to new entrants from 30 June. Employers will now only be able to furlough employees that they have furloughed for a full 3 week period prior to 30 June.

This means that the final date by which an employer can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10 June, in order for the current 3 week furlough period to be completed by 30 June. Employers will have until 31 July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30 June.

Further guidance on flexible furloughing and how employers should calculate claims will be published on 12 June. Find out more information on how the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is changing.



Once you are on furlough you will not be able to work for your employer. You can undertake training or volunteer subject to public health guidance, as long as you’re not:

  • making money for your employer or a company linked or associated to your employer
  • providing services to your employer or a company linked or associated to your employer

If workers are required to, for example, complete training courses whilst they are furloughed, then they must be paid at least their appropriate minimum wage (NLW/NMW/AMW) for the time spent training, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised.

If your contract allows, you may undertake other employment while your current employer has placed you on furlough. This will not affect the grant that they can claim under the scheme. You will need to return to work for the employer that has placed you on furlough if they decide to stop furloughing you. You must also be able to undertake any training they require while on furlough.

If you take on new employment, you should ensure you complete the starter checklist form with your new employer correctly.

Further guidance

For more information on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme please read the guidance for employers. There is also guidance for employees.