Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (UK)

Written by: Alistair McArthur
Published on: 25 Mar 2020

Solicitors, Herrington Carmichael, outline what we know about the UK government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme so far. 

Mar 20, 2020: In a further move to aid the economy, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the Government’s economic rescue package on Friday.  

One of the measures announced to support businesses and employees is the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.  Whilst we are still awaiting further guidance to be published, here’s what we know about the scheme so far:

All UK businesses are eligible. To access the scheme, employers will need to:

  • Designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers,’ and notify employees of this change - changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and will require the employees agreement which means it is likely that agreement will be required from the employees. 
  • Submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal (we are awaiting further details from HMRC as to the information that will be required).

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.  To qualify for this Scheme, workers should not undertake work for their employers while they are furloughed.  Based on the Governments advice so far, this scheme will not be available to assist workers who are still working but on reduced hours.  However, this may well change as and when further guidance is released. 

As always, we will endeavour to update you as soon as further guidance is published.

We are currently preparing briefing notes and the necessary agreements to use the scheme and if you require any assistance from us, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our Employment Group on 0118 977 4045 or