Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme: frequently asked questions

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Significant changes to the Scheme to make it more flexible took effect on 1 July. From 1 August, employers have started contributing to furloughed employees’ wages costs. The Scheme closes on 31 October.

What is the current position?

The first announcement of the Scheme on Friday 20 March explained that the Government would guarantee 80% of the wage costs of any employees “furloughed” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, subject to a cap of £2,500 per month. This payment would apply to any employees furloughed from 1 March onwards. The scheme, which in its original form had a provisional cut-off date of 31 May, has since been extended to the end of October.

A new, more flexible, version of the Scheme launched in July, and employers have been required to make contributions towards the wages costs of furloughed staff since the beginning of August.  Employees will continue to receive 80% of their normal wages (subject the cap) for the time they spend furloughed until the Scheme ends.

Government guidance on the scheme was first published on 26 March and has been revised and expanded on numerous occasions since. This is underpinned by a series of Treasury Directions.  The latest, which sets out the new rules for the Scheme applying from July onwards, was published on 26 June

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