Using the Job Retention Scheme

Amanda Beattie

Amanda Beattie


13 Nov 2020


First published 7th June 2020. Last updated 13th November 2020.

The Job Retention Scheme has been set up to help you retain staff during the coronavirus crisis. Through use of the scheme you can claim 80% of staff wages, up to £2,500 per month, by placing staff on furlough.

It has now been extended until the end of April 2021.

But what should you bear in mind before making a claim?


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Double check who can be furloughed

To be eligible, the worker must be PAYE and have been notified to HMRC through an RTI submission between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020.

Full time, part time, temporary, zero hours, and fixed term staff can all be included as long as they are PAYE.

Get agreement from staff to be furloughed

All staff should confirm in writing that they consent to be furloughed and receive no work during this time. If they have been furloughed before, they will need to agree to be furloughed again.

It’s up to you who is placed on furlough but staff can volunteer themselves if they want.

Make sure furloughed staff do no work

Staff should not do work that makes money for your company or an associated organisation during the hours you claim the government grant for them.

They can undertake training, and take holidays, but must be paid in full for this.

You can ask them to work part-time, however they must be paid in full for the hours they work.

Calculate furloughed staff wages

For employees that meet the eligibility criteria, and were previously furloughed, you must use the same calculations for calculating reference pay and usual hours as the original JRS.

For an employee who meets the criteria of the extended scheme but was not previously eligible for JRS, alternative calculations of reference pay and usual hours must be used.

Take staff off furlough

Staff can be furloughed for as long as you need them to be, however each claim must cover a period of seven days.

The Scheme is currently set to last until the end of April 2021.

Make your claim

You need to have all of this information to hand:

  • your company’s PAYE reference number
  • the amount of staff you have furloughed
  • the national insurance numbers, names and payroll/works numbers of those being furloughed
  • your company’s self-assessment or corporation tax unique taxpayer reference or company registration number
  • the start and end dates for the period of furlough being claimed
  • the amount that is being claimed as worked out by yourself
  • your company’s contact details, bank account number and sort code.

Expert support

If you need further support with the job retention scheme and furlough or have another HR issue, speak to one of our experts today on 01455 858 132.

About the Author

Amanda Beattie

Amanda represents corporate clients and large public bodies, including complex discrimination and whistleblowing claims. Amanda also drafts and delivers bespoke training regarding all aspects of employment law, including ‘mock tribunal’ events; in addition she also frequently drafts employment law articles for various publications for Croner and their clients.

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