News article

Coronavirus: Support available through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

27 March 2020

Government will cover up to 80 per cent of staff wages, up to £2,500 per employee

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.


All UK businesses are eligible.

How to access the scheme

You will need to:

  • designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’ (ie employees are kept on your payroll, rather than being laid off) and notify your employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation
  • submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (HMRC will set out further details on the information required)

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. HMRC are working to set up a system for reimbursement. Existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.

Employer guidance and furlough letter template

The Labour Relations Agency (LRA) have produced practical guidance to help employers with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme including a sample furlough letter. See the LRA's COVID-19 practical guidance - the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

If your business needs short-term cash flow support, you may be eligible for a Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan.

First published 20 March 2020