News article

Coronavirus: Calculate how much you can claim using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

1 July 2020


Calculate how much you have to pay your furloughed employees for hours on furlough, how much you can claim for employer NICs and pension contributions and how much you can claim back

You can now submit claims for periods starting on or after 1 July.

31 July is the last day that you can submit claims for periods ending on or before 30 June.

If you’re using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to claim for employees’ wages, the steps you’ll need to take are:

1. Check if you can claim.

2. Check which employees you can put on furlough.

3. Steps to take before calculating your claim.

4. Calculate your employees’ wages.

5. Claim for your employees’ wages.

6. Report a payment in PAYE Real Time Information.

From 1 July, you will:

  • only be able to claim for employees who have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March 2020 and 30 June
  • be able to flexibly furlough employees – this means you can bring your employees back to work for any amount of time, and any work pattern
  • still be able to claim the furlough grant for the hours your flexibly furloughed employees do not work, compared to the hours they would normally have worked in that period

From 1 August 2020, the level of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme grant will be reduced each month. To be eligible for the grant employers must continue to pay furloughed employees 80% of their wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month for the time they are being furloughed.

From 1 August, no grant will be available for Class 1 employer NICs or pension contributions, although these contributions will remain payable by the employer.

From September 1, the government grant towards the employee wages will be reduced to 70%. From October 1, the government grant will be reduced again to 60%. During these months you will be asked to contribute towards the cost of your furloughed employees’ wages to ensure they continue to receive at least 80% of their wages for the time they’re on furlough. Find out more information on how the amount of grant available is changing - see Coronavirus: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme - what is changing and key dates.

You’ll still need to pay employer National Insurance and pension contributions on furloughed employees’ pay. For claims ending before 1 August 2020 you can claim for these costs too.

You cannot claim for:

  • additional National Insurance or pension contributions you make because you choose to top up your employee’s wages
  • your employees’ wages for any time they spend working, or any National Insurance or pension contributions you make on these wages
  • any pension contributions you make that are above the mandatory employer contribution

You can choose to top up your employees’ wages above the minimum furlough pay amount but you do not have to. Employees must not work or provide any services for the business during hours which they are recorded as being on furlough, even if they receive a top-up wage.

Record keeping requirements

You must keep a copy of all records for 6 years, including:

  • the amount claimed and claim period for each employee
  • the claim reference number for your records
  • your calculations in case HMRC need more information about your claim
  • usual hours worked, including any calculations that were required, for employees you flexibly furloughed
  • actual hours worked for employees you flexibly furloughed

Use the calculator

This calculator can currently be used to work out what you can claim for in a claim ending on or before 31 July. It can be used for most employees who are paid either regular or variable amounts each pay period (for example, weekly or monthly).

The calculator cannot be used if employees:

  • returned from family-related statutory leave (maternity leave, paternity leave, shared parental leave, adoption leave, parental bereavement leave)
  • get director’s payments
  • have been transferred under TUPE
  • have been employed at separate times throughout the year
  • receive employer pension contributions outside of an auto-enrolment pension scheme
  • have an annual pay period

If you are claiming for an employee who is flexibly furloughed, you will need to work out their usual hours before you use the calculator.

Calculate now


If you cannot use this calculator, you’ll need to work out what you can claim manually using the calculation guidance or by seeking professional advice from an accountant or tax adviser.

HMRC will continue to improve their online services on a frequent basis, including supporting more employment situations with this calculator.

It’s your responsibility to check that the amount you’re claiming for is correct.

Work out the maximum wage amount

The maximum wage amount is £2,500 a month, or £576.92 a week.

Before 1 July this was the maximum amount you could claim for wages under the scheme. From 1 July, the calculations are changing, so this isn’t necessarily the amount you can claim, but you still need to work this out to allow you to calculate how much your employee should be paid and the amount of grant you can claim towards their wages. You will also need to work out 80% of your employee’s usual wage – see further down this page.

If the length of time you’re claiming for is not one week or one month, you’ll need to use the daily maximum wage amounts to work out the maximum amount for each employee.

To work out the maximum amount you can claim, multiply the daily maximum wage amount by the number of calendar days your employee is furloughed for in your claim.

Month Daily Maximum Wage Amount
March 2020 £80.65 per day
April 2020 £83.34 per day
May 2020 £80.65 per day
June 2020 £83.34 per day
July 2020 £80.65 per day
August 2020 £83.34 per day
September 2020 £83.34 per day*
October 2020 £80.65 per day*


*In September and October, this is the maximum amount you will have to pay a furloughed employee. The amount that you can claim for will be lower.

If your claim period includes dates from two or more calendar months, you’ll need to calculate the maximum amount for each calendar month and add them together. This will only apply to claim periods ending on or before 30 June, as periods from 1 July onward cannot cover more than one calendar month.

If you’re claiming for multiple pay periods in one claim, you can calculate the total maximum using a mixture of:

  • the daily maximum wage amount
  • the weekly maximum wage amount
  • the monthly maximum wage amount

Find an example of working out the maximum wage amount for part of a pay period.

Work out 80% of your employee’s usual wage

You will need to work out 80% of your employee’s usual wages to determine:

  • how much you have to pay your employees for the time they are furloughed
  • what you can claim under the scheme

You can use the calculator to help you work out how much you can claim, though there are some cases where this may not be suitable - it is your responsibility to check that the amount you are claiming for is correct.

You will need to identify the number of furlough days in the period. A furlough day means every calendar day within a period where the employee was either:

  • fully furloughed
  • under a flexible furlough agreement with you

The way you should work out 80% of your employee’s usual wages is different depending on the way they’re paid. You must check what you can include as wages first.

Choose the calculation you think best fits the way your employee is paid. For example, if you pay your employee a fixed regular salary, use the calculation for fixed pay amounts. HMRC will not decline or seek repayment of any grant based solely on the particular choice of pay calculation, as long as a reasonable choice of approach is made.

Where a claim covers multiple pay periods, this calculation should be done for each and then added together.

Work out 80% of wages for employees on a fixed salary

To work out 80% of your employee’s wage:

1. Start with your employee’s wages, which is their last pay period before 19 March - if you’re claiming for a full pay period, skip to step 4.

2. Divide by the total number of days in the pay period.

3. Multiply by the number of furlough days in the pay period.

4. Multiply by 80%.

Find an example of working out 80% of wages for fixed rate, full or part time employees on a salary.

Find an example of working out 80% of wages for fixed rate full or part time employee who returns to working their usual hours during the claim period.

If you calculated your claim based on the employee’s wages as of 28 February 2020, and this differs from their wages in their last pay period prior to 19 March 2020, you can choose to still use this calculation for your first claim.

If your employee has not been paid for a full pay period up to 19 March 2020
If your employee has not been paid for a full pay period up to 19 March 2020, you’ll need to work out what their usual wages are and then calculate 80%. To do this:

1. Start with amount they’ve been paid in their last pay period before 19 March.

2. Divide by the number of days in that pay period (including non-working days).

3. Multiply by the total number of days that would have been in a full pay period.

4. Divide by the total number of days in the pay period you are claiming for.

5. Multiply by the number of furlough days in the pay period you are claiming for.

6. Multiply by 80%.

Find an example for working out 80% of your employees’ wages if they have not been paid for a full pay period up to 19 March 2020.

Employees whose pay varies
You should calculate 80% of the higher of either:

  • the wages from the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020
  • the average wages for the tax year 2019 to 2020

If your employee has variable hours you will have completed a similar comparison to work out their usual hours but the outcome may be different.

To calculate 80% of the wages from the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020:

1. Start with the amount they earned in the same period last year.

2. Divide by the total number of days in this pay period - including non-working days.

3. Multiply by the number of furlough days in this pay period.

4. Multiply by 80%.

If your employee did not work for you in the corresponding calendar period in the tax year 2019 to 2020, you can only use the averaging method to calculate 80% of their wages.

Find an example of claiming for the same period last year.

To work out 80% of the average monthly wages for tax year 2019 to 2020:

1. Start with the amount they earned in the tax year up to the day before they were furloughed.

2. Divide it by the number of days from the start of the tax year – including non-working days (up to the day before they were furloughed, or 5 April 2020 – whichever is earlier).

3. Multiply by the number of furlough days in this pay period.

4. Multiply by 80%.

Find an example of working out 80% of average monthly wages for the last tax year.

If your employee started working for you on or after 6 April 2019, you should not include the days before their employment started in your calculation.

To work out 80% of your employee’s average earnings for an employee who started working for you on or after 6 April 2019:

1. Start with the amount they earned in the tax year up to the day before they were furloughed.

2. Divide it by the number of days they’ve been employed since the start of the tax year – including non-working days (up to the day before they were furloughed or 5 April 2020 – whichever is earlier).

3. Multiply by the number of furlough days in this pay period.

4. Multiply by 80%.

Every day after the employee commenced employment with you is counted in making this calculation. This includes non-working days.

Find an example of working out 80% of average wages for the last tax year if employment started after 6 April 2019.

Work out your employee’s minimum furlough pay
The minimum furlough pay is the lesser of either:

  • 80% of their usual wage
  • the maximum wage amount

If your employee is flexibly furloughed the minimum furlough pay depends on their working and furloughed hours.

1. Start with the lesser of:

  • 80% of their usual wages
  • the maximum wage amount

2. Multiply by the employee’s furloughed hours.

3. Divide by the employee’s usual hours.

This is the minimum amount you must pay your employee for the time they are recorded as being on furlough. You can choose to pay more than this but you do not have to.

If any of the furlough hours are taken as paid holiday or annual leave, you need to top up the pay for these hours to the employee’s full contracted rate.

Find an example of how to calculate minimum furlough pay for an employee who is flexibly furloughed.

Work out how much you can claim for your employee’s furlough pay
For periods ending on or before 31 August 2020 you can claim a grant for the full amount of the minimum furlough pay.

For periods starting on or after 1 September you will need to calculate the grant amount as follows:

1. Start with the amount of minimum furlough pay.

2. Divide by 80.

3. Depending on which month you’re claiming for, multiply by:

  • 70 for September
  • 60 for October

Find an example of how to work out how much of the minimum furlough pay you can claim for.

If your employee was paid a statutory payment in the claim period
You must subtract the amount which is paid to the employee for the claim period from the amount you claim under the scheme, if your employee is paid:

  • Statutory Maternity Pay
  • Statutory Adoption Pay
  • Statutory Paternity Pay
  • Statutory Shared Parental Pay
  • Statutory Parental Bereavement Pay

Your employee cannot be furloughed while they receive statutory sick pay and your employee cannot receive statutory sick pay while they are furloughed.

Work out how much you can claim for employer National Insurance contributions (NICs)

You should calculate and pay Class 1 employer NICs in the normal way.

For periods ending on or before 31 July, you can claim for Class 1 employer NICs you’ve paid on the grant for your employee’s wages.

If you choose to top up your employees’ wages, you cannot claim for employer NICs on the amount you’ve topped them up by.

For periods starting on or after 1 August you will not be able to claim a grant towards the employer Class 1 NICs you’ve paid on the grant for your employees’ wages.

If you’re claiming Employment Allowance
To make sure you do not claim too much from the scheme, you must adjust for the Employment Allowance.

Working out what you can claim for claims ending on or before 30 June 2020

You can use either the direct percentage method or the tables method to calculate employer NICs. The difference between the results will be just a few pence. The examples in this guidance use the direct percentage method.

The amount you can claim is calculated differently depending on whether the employee was furloughed for the whole pay period and whether you topped up your employee’s pay.

The grant you claim should not be more than the employer NICs that you are due to pay. If you have no employer NICs to pay, then you cannot claim for them.

The amount of employer NICs you claim for should not be higher than 13.8% of the grant for that employee’s wages.

If your employee is furloughed for the whole pay period, and you do not top up their pay (claims ending on or before 30 June 2020)
To work out how much you can claim to cover employer NICs:

1. Start with the grant you’re claiming for employee’s wages.

2. Deduct the relevant secondary NICs threshold.

3. Multiply this amount by 13.8%.

If you claim the Employment Allowance, you must make sure you do not claim too much from the scheme.

Tax year National Insurance Contributions Thresholds
2019 to 2020 £166 per week, £719 per month or £8632 per year
2020 to 2021 £169 per week, £732 per month or £8,788 per year


Find an example of working out employer NICs for an employee that’s furloughed for a whole pay period with no topped up wages.

If your employee is not furloughed for the whole pay period or you top up their pay (claims ending on or before 30 June 2020)
If your employee is not furloughed for the whole of the pay period, or you top up your employee’s pay over the amounts covered by the grant, then the following steps will help you calculate the amount of employer NICs you can claim for each employee:

1. Start with the employee’s total pay.

2. Deduct the relevant secondary NICs threshold.

3. Multiply by 13.8%.

4. Divide by the number of calendar days in the pay period.

5. Multiply by the number of furlough days in the pay period.

6. Divide by the employee’s total pay for the furlough days in the pay period.

7. Multiply by the amount of grant for employee wages.

Check that the result of this calculation is not more than the maximum that can be claimed for employer NICs. The following steps will show you how to calculate the maximum employer NICs you can claim for each employee:

1. Start with the amount of grant for that employee.

2. Multiply by 13.8%.

You must not claim more than the maximum amount for each employee.

If you claim the Employment Allowance, you must make sure you do not claim too much from the scheme.

Find an example of working out employer NICs for an employee furloughed part way through a pay period and employer does not top up employee’s wages.

Find an example of working out employers NICs for an employee furloughed for part of the pay period and employer tops up employee’s pay.

Working out what you can claim – for claims between 1 July and 31 July 2020
From 1 July 2020, your employees will be able to return to work part-time and be furloughed for the rest of their usual hours. You should calculate the employer NICs that you need to pay in the normal way.

For claim periods between 1 July 2020 and 31 July 2020, you’ll need to work out how much you can claim towards these costs. You should do this calculation separately for each pay period that falls into your claim period. You cannot claim a higher amount than the employer NICs that is due.

Before you calculate the amount you can claim, you will first need to adjust the amount of the relevant secondary NICs threshold.

Tax Year National Insurance Contributions Thresholds
2020 to 2021 £169 per week, £732 per month or £8,788 per year


To adjust the amount of the relevant secondary NICs threshold:

1. Start with the relevant secondary NICs threshold that corresponds to the pay period.

2. Divide by the number of days in the pay period.

3. Multiply by the number of days in the furlough or flexible furlough claim.

If your employee is flexibly furloughed, you must also:

1. Divide by the number of usual hours in the flexible furlough claim.

2. Multiply by the number of furloughed hours in the flexible furlough claim.

Next you will need to use the adjusted secondary NICs threshold to calculate the amount of your grant.

1. Start with the amount you’re claiming for the employee’s wages.

2. Deduct the relevant adjusted secondary NICs threshold.

3. Multiply by 13.8%.

If you claim the Employment Allowance, you must make sure you do not claim too much for Class 1 NICs from the scheme.

Find an example of calculating the grant for employer NICs costs for an employee who is fully furloughed (for claims between 1 July and 31 July 2020).

Find an example of calculating the grant for employer NICs costs for an employee who is flexibly furloughed (for claims from 1 July to 31 July 2020).

Find an example of calculating the grant for employer NICs costs for an employee who is flexibly furloughed where the flexible furlough claim period does not match the employee’s pay period.

Working out what you can claim – for claim periods starting on or after 1 August 2020
From 1 August 2020, you will no longer be able to claim a grant towards the employer NICs that you pay.

Adjusting your claim because of Employment Allowance
You may be eligible to claim the Employment Allowance.

The rules for claiming and applying the Employment Allowance are not different because you are claiming a Job Retention Scheme grant for your Class 1 employer NICs costs. You can claim for a grant towards your Class 1 employer NICs costs in claims up to 31 July 2020.

Eligible employers can use the Employment Allowance to pay less employer NICs, until the allowance runs out or until the end of the tax year, whichever comes first. The Employment Allowance cannot be manually spread out over the tax year if it would otherwise be used up sooner.

When working out how much employer NICs you can claim back from the scheme, you should subtract any Employment Allowance you have used in that pay period.

If you’ve claimed the Employment Allowance and you do not have to pay any employer NICs in a pay period, you should not claim for any employer NICs costs through the scheme.

If the amount of Employment Allowance you can claim will not cover the total employer NICs due, the grant you can claim is the lower of:

  • the grant towards employer NICs costs that you’ve already calculated
  • the employer NICs costs that you paid, or expect to pay, across your entire payroll

Eligible employers can claim the Employment Allowance at any point in the tax year they are claiming for, or for 4 years afterwards. If you have claimed or will claim the grant for employer NICs, you must ensure that you do not receive relief for the same employer NICs costs twice. To do this, you can either:

  • not claim the employer NICs grant
  • reduce the grant you claim to take account of the Employment Allowance
  • contact HMRC via the employer helpline to restrict the value of your Employment Allowance claim

Employers who delay their Employment Allowance claim and have unused Employment Allowance available at the end of the tax year can use this to reduce other tax costs. Employers who have received a grant for employer NICs costs through the scheme should deduct the amount of grant they have received from the amount of Employment Allowance they have left before they use it, if not doing so would result in receiving relief for the same cost twice. Attempting to get relief for the same costs twice is a fraud and may result in claims being investigated.

If your employee is a company director
There are two methods for calculating a director’s Class 1 NICs.

The method you use may affect how much you can claim under the scheme.

For example, if you use the annual cumulative method, and you don’t have to pay employer NICs for the director by the time you make your claim through the scheme, then you cannot claim a grant towards employer NICs costs.

Work out how much you can claim for employer’s pension contributions

You’ll still need to pay pension contributions on behalf of your furloughed employees. Until 1 August 2020 you can claim for these up to the level of the mandatory employer contribution, even if it’s not an auto-enrolment pension.

You cannot claim for any pension contributions:

You’ll need to work out how much you can claim for employer’s pension contributions.

Calculate your claim for pension contributions – claim periods up to and including 30 June 2020

1. Start with the amount you’re claiming for the employee’s wages.

2. Deduct the minimum amount your employee would have to earn in the claim period to qualify for employer pension contributions – this is £512 a month for periods before 5 April 2020, and £520 a month for periods after 6 April 2020.

3. Multiply by 3%.

Grants for pension contributions can be claimed up to this cap provided the employer pays the whole amount claimed to a pension scheme for the employee as an employer contribution.

Find an example of working out pension contributions if an employee is furloughed for the whole pay period and you do not top up their pay (for claim periods up to and including 30 June 2020).

Find an example of working out pension contributions if an employer makes contributions above the minimum level of contributions for an auto-enrolment pension (for claim periods up to and including 30 June 2020).

Find an example of how to calculate the grant towards employer pension contributions where the employee is furloughed during the pay period (for claim periods up to and including 30 June 2020).

Calculate your claim for pension contributions – claim periods from 1 July to 31 July 2020
From 1 July 2020, your employees will be able to return to work part-time and be furloughed for the rest of their usual hours.

For claims between 1 July 2020 and 31 July 2020, you’ll be able to claim towards pension contributions you make on the gross pay grant for the hours they are furloughed. You should do this calculation separately for each pay period that falls into your claim period. You cannot claim for more than you actually contribute to your employee’s pension.

Before you can claim, you will need to adjust the amount of the relevant Lower Level of Qualifying Earnings (LLQE).

Tax Year Lower Level Of Qualifying Earnings
2020 to 2021 £120 per week, £520 per month or £6,240 per year


To adjust the amount of the LLQE:

1. Start with the relevant LLQE that corresponds to the pay period.

2. Divide by the number of days in the pay period.

3. Multiply by the number of days in the furlough or part-time furlough claim.

If your employee is flexibly furloughed you must also:

1. Divide by the number of usual hours in the flexible furlough claim.

2. Multiply by the number of furloughed hours in the flexible furlough claim.

Next you will need to use the adjusted LLQE to calculate the amount of your grant.

1. Start with the amount you’re claiming for the employee’s wages.

2. Deduct the adjusted LLQE.

3. Multiply by 3%.

You must not claim more towards pension contributions than you have paid into your employee’s pension.

Find an example of calculating the grant for employer pension contributions for an employee who is fully furloughed (for claims from 1 July 2020 to 31 July 2020).

Find an example of calculating the grant for employer pension contributions for an employee who is flexibly furloughed (for claims from 1 July 2020 to 31 July 2020).

Find an example of calculating the grant for employer pension contributions for an employee who is flexibly furloughed where the flexible furlough claim period does not align with the employee’s pay period (for claims from 1 July 2020 to 31 July 2020).

Calculate your claim for pension contributions – claim periods from 1 August 2020
From 1 August 2020 you will no longer be able to claim towards contributions you make into your employees’ pensions.

How to claim

Once you have completed the calculation for each employee who was furloughed in the claim period follow the instructions to claim for wages online through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, including requirements about the records you must keep and how you use the grant.

You must not make the claim if you do not agree to follow those requirements.

Find an example of a full calculation
Use an example to calculate the amount you should claim for an employee who is flexibly furloughed.

Contacting HMRC

We are receiving very high numbers of calls. Contacting HMRC unnecessarily puts our essential public services at risk during these challenging times.

Get help online
Use HMRC’s digital assistant to find more information about the coronavirus support schemes.

You can also contact HMRC if you cannot get the help you need online.


First published 15 June 2020