Using the Job Retention Scheme

Amanda Beattie

Amanda Beattie


08 Jun 2020



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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.

You can also claim national insurance contributions for the capped payment and employer pension contributions (up to 3%). 

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

Double check who can be furloughed

To be eligible, the worker must be PAYE and have been notified to HMRC through an RTI submission on or before 19 March 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.

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

Furloughed staff should not do work that makes money for your company or an associated organisation.

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

Calculate furloughed staff wages

Look at what staff earned in the last pay period prior to 19 March 2020 when calculating the 80%.

If they have variable pay, look at what they earned in the same month last year or at their average earnings from the 2019-20 tax year.

If they have variable pay and have worked for you for less than a year, look at their average monthly earnings since they started work.

Take staff off furlough

Staff must be furloughed for at least three weeks in order for you to benefit from the grant.

The Scheme is currently set to last until the end of October 2020.

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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