The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS, also known as furlough) is a government programme intended to protect employees during the coronavirus emergency.
In its initial form, the government pays 80% of wages for furloughed workers, up to a limit of £2,500 per month. Other costs such as pension contributions and Employer NI Contributions (NICS) are included.
Various changes have now been introduced by the Chancellor to manage the transition back to normal working conditions.
- In July – Employees may return to work on a part-time basis (this is currently not permitted)
- In August – Government will continue to pay 80% of wages for furloughed employees, but employers must take on payment of other costs.
- In September – Government will pay 70% of wages for furloughed employees, up to a maximum of £2,158 per month, employers will pay 10% of wages (making up a total payment of £2,500) plus other costs.
- In October – Government will pay 60% of wages, up to a maximum of £1,875, employers will pay 20% of wages (making up a total payment of £2,500) plus other costs.
There is nothing to prevent employers making larger payments to furloughed staff if they wish to do so – for example, they could top-up mandatory furlough pay to the employee’s normal salary, on a voluntary basis.
The Chancellor has also announced the extension of the equivalent scheme for self-employed workers. Those claiming under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will receive a second and final grant in August, worth 70% of regular profits, paid as one installment covering 3 months. A maximum of £6570 will apply.