Skip to main content

Support for furloughed employees

Posted by: , Posted on: - Categories: Funding and support

Jim Harra, First Permanent Secretary and CEO at HMRC explains what you need to know about getting government support if you’re a furloughed employee.

This post was updated on 21 April 2020.

Jim Harra, First Permanent Secretary and CEO at HMRC

In recent weeks, the government has announced an unprecedented set of measures to help support citizens and businesses during the COVID-19 crisis. Measures that HMRC is responsible for have included deferral of VAT and Self-Assessment payments, the new Time to Pay helpline, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme and changes to Statutory Sick Pay and increases in tax credits.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

One of the most significant examples of business support that HMRC will put in place during this challenging time is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

In short, this scheme allows UK employers whose employees are unable to work to access support to ensure that they are able to continue paying a large part of their employees’ salary.

HMRC will pay employers a grant meeting 80% of an employee’s usual wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on the subsidised wage.

Employers claiming the grant will still pay employees who are being kept on the payroll (but have been asked to stop working) at least 80% of their usual pay. These employees are known as ‘furloughed employees’. During this ‘furlough’, employees must not carry out any work or volunteering for their employer.

CJRS aims to safeguard employees against redundancies that may have otherwise occurred due to the effects that COVID-19 has had on the global economy.

Regardless of the type of an employee’s contract, all UK employers with a PAYE scheme that was created and started on or before 28 February 2020 will be eligible. In fact, thousands more employees will be able to receive support through the CJRS as the eligibility date has been extended to 19 March 2020.

“The extension means employers can now claim for furloughed employees that were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before 19 March, meaning they had been notified to HMRC through an [RTI] submission before then. This means that those who've recently started a new job and thought they'd missed out on being furloughed are now likely to be able to get support. The CJRS applies to all sectors, including charities.”

Grants under the CJRS can be backdated to 1 March 2020, and the scheme is now running until the end of June. An online service is now open for employers to start making their claims on GOV.UK.

Self-Employed Income Support Scheme

For self-employed individuals or members of a partnership, who are not covered by the CJRS, the Chancellor has announced the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, which offers a similar level of support for self-employed workers provided they make over half their income from being self-employed and their 2018/19 profits are less than £50,000 or the average of their profits over the last 3 years is less than £50,000.

Employers could find out more about the scheme, whether they are eligible and how to apply here.

HMRC’s staff are working hard to support citizens and businesses all over the UK during this unprecedented time.

We thank you for your support and your patience. And please remember that, wherever possible, you must follow government advice to:

Stay Home, Protect the NHS, Save Lives.

Subscribe to updates from this blog, or sign up for our email bulletin.

Sharing and comments

Share this page


  1. Comment by Mary Langshaw posted on

    Thousands of candidates who receive their pay via umbrella bodies have been told they may not be furloughed. the umbrella bodies say they have to put £40 a week aside for holiday pay and this money cannot be claimed through CJRT scheme so they have to fund it. The companies cannot afford this money without any income so are reluctant to furlough the thousands of candidates who get paid through them. Can the Government do anything to help these candidates?

  2. Comment by Mark Eyre posted on

    No support
    No 1. I do the PAYE annual return so not able to claim the furlough for my one employee. No RTI before 19 March so this scheme excludes my employee. Even though I'm registered as the employer and on the system.
    No 2. No support from my 2nd job as it's less than 50% of my total income. I do the 2nd job to make end meet (Mini cab driving) Office now closed.
    No3. No support for myself because I use dividends for payment not PAYE due to the erratic nature of winning Government procurement contracts and the vagaries of getting paid. there must be hundreds and thousands of people in the same situation.
    I pay 5 figure sums in Tax etc every year so where do I go now, the bank won't even give me an overdraft, even though I have a 999 rating On Experian.
    I keep falling through the gaps, I know its going to hurt when I hit the floor.
    I do however put Health before Wealth as people are dying.

  3. Comment by Linda Cross posted on

    We bought a cafe on 28 February 2020 and had to close on 21 March. No support through CJRS just when we need it most. £100k investment and no time to build up income. This was an existing business but no account taken of previous viability or payroll. Seems grossly unfair even though we realise dangers of fraud and abuse in this scheme.

  4. Comment by Phil Read posted on

    Employer worked out my furlough pay using my wage from last year although I was given a pay rise in January this year.
    Been trying to get help from HMRC no way of getting help. tried online chat, tried calling at £3.60 a min. I cant afford the phone call.
    Web chat said talk to your employer, like I haven't already and got nowhere.
    I worked out I'm £200 worse off a month because of their mess up.
    Why couldn't HMRC just pay us direct.

  5. Comment by C.David posted on

    How long does it take for the money to reach the employeers account? 12th of May and still nothing as in employer claims that will take a month for revenue to conduct chacks me being employed for less than 3 months. Is this even possible??Also do thet get money every month or one single paymet for the 3 months?

  6. Comment by NTaylor posted on

    My employer will not pay me my car allowance as part of my holiday pay during furlough, although the guidelines say holiday pay should be at the normal pay rate, which for me includes my car allowance.

    Can I get clarification on this, it seems unfair that my holiday is now worth less than my colleagues who are not furloughed, and at the rate at which I 'earned' this holiday.

  7. Comment by Dave posted on

    In the same boat employer stated it would take 8weeks to get any money why? Then they say they are claiming in 3week periods this is week 8 of furlough and I have only been paid 2 weeks so far impossible to get through to helpline and employer just keeps robbing me off its soul destroying dont know how much more I can take wondering if it's all worth it might as well just give up and wait until I'm kicked out of my house nobody cares anymore I'm done

  8. Comment by Jacqueline Catterall posted on

    I have just recieved a email off my employer saying they are putting me on the sick rather than furloughed which I have been on I'm a shielded person with a letter,can they do this

  9. Comment by Monir posted on

    I have been forced to be on SSP for last two months for self isolating, then later I found out my colleagues who were self isolating have recieved full payment. I'm trying everywhere to resolve this but just cannot seem to find the right people to help me.

  10. Comment by Fiona Williams posted on

    My Boss has stopped my furlough but has not sacked me. I have 45 hrs contract. Can he do this?


Leave a comment

We only ask for your email address so we know you're a real person

By submitting a comment you understand it may be published on this public website. Please read our privacy notice to see how the GOV.UK blogging platform handles your information.