This toolkit provides guidance for managing furlough and the Job Retention Scheme, as well as the Job Retention Bonus and Job Support Scheme. It provides links to key information and templates on the website. This information is being continually checked and updated.

Furlough and the Job Retention Scheme (JRS)

On 20 March 2020, the Government announced its plans for financial assistance to help employers retain employees for an extended period of time, although offering no work, and avoid lay-offs due to those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The Government’s scheme is called the Job Retention Scheme and aims to avoid lay-offs or redundancies where employers are unable to offer work to their employees.

The JRS means that employers are able to place their employees on “furlough” where employees are put on 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 will be able to obtain a grant from the Government to cover the furloughed employees” wages. See our Furlough Q&As for the grants available.

Flexible Furlough

From 1 July, employers can arrange part-time work with staff who are furloughed, or who have been furloughed in the past under the Flexible Furlough Scheme. Staff can now be partly working and partly furloughed. See our How to guide for flexible furlough, Flexible Furlough under the Job Retention Scheme FAQs and Letter to Send to Employee for Flexible Furlough.

Job Retention Bonus (JRB)

On 8 July, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a new Job Retention Bonus for employers who have used the Job Retention Scheme. Employers will receive a £1000 cash bonus for every furloughed employee.

Job Support Scheme (JSS)

On 24 September, the Chancellor confirmed that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) would officially end on 31 October. The Chancellor’s answer to helping business continue is a new scheme — the Job Support Scheme (JSS) — opening on 1 November and set to be in place for six months. See our Job Support Scheme Toolkit for more details.

Last reviewed 20 October 2020