This toolkit provides guidance for managing furlough and the Job Retention Scheme. It provides links to key information and templates on the website. This information is being continually checked and updated.
We have updated our letter section to include two new furlough letters: letter to place employee on flexible furlough due to school closure and letter to place employee on full furlough due to school closure.
Furlough and the Job Retention Scheme (JRS)
In March 2020, the Government announced its plans for financial assistance to help employers retain employees for an extended period of time through the Job Retention Scheme. This means that employers are able to place their employees on “furlough” — a temporary leave of absence where they are not required to work but are retained on the books to be brought back in when needed. Employers who do this can obtain a grant from the Government to cover the furloughed employees’ wages.
Extensions to Furlough
After multiple extensions, the JRS was due to end on 31 October 2020 with the Job Support Scheme (JSS) replacing it. However, due to new lockdowns, the Job Retention Scheme has been extended until the end of April 2021, with the JSS postponed indefinitely. See our feature Extended Job Retention Scheme (Furlough) FAQs (November 2020 onwards).
Flexible furlough means arranging part-time work with staff who will be classed as on furlough for the remainder of their usual working hours. Although the flexible furlough scheme from July to October has now ended, flexible furlough is permitted under the extended Job Retention Scheme. See our Flexible Furlough under the Job Retention Scheme Q&As
Job Retention Bonus (JRB)
On 8 July, a new Job Retention Bonus (JRB) was announced. However, as a result of the JRS extensions, the JRB will no longer be provided. “Future incentives” are expected to be announced at a later date.
Job Support Scheme (JSS)
In September, the JSS was announced to replace the JRS in November; however, due to the extensions to the JRS, the JSS has been postponed indefinitely.
Furlough feature articles
Furlough news items
Furlough from November onwards content
Letter to place employee on flexible furlough due to school closure
Letter to place employee on full furlough due to school closure.
Last reviewed 14 January 2021