This is just one of a raft of support packages that the Government has initiated to help businesses through these challenging and unprecedented times.


Effectively, the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ has been established to help businesses, who have been affected by the Covid-19 emergency, cover the salary costs of their staff. It doesn’t cover everything, and it has to be retention in response to the impact of the Covid-19 emergency.

Click here to follow the Government’s step by step guide for employers which explains the process in detail.

It is absolutely vital that you carefully read the Government’s guidance document, but here are some brief pointers to help your thinking:

  • This is a grant that is reclaimed from Government to cover the cost of salaries
  • You can furlough employees and apply for a grant that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage up to £2,500 per month, plus National Insurance and minimum automatic enrolment pension contributions
  • Any entity with a UK payroll can apply: whether a business, charity or recruitment agency
  • You must: have created or started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before 19 March 2020, enrolled for PAYE online and have a UK bank account
  • Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue to train whist furloughed
  • Employees can be on any type of employment contract, including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts. Foreign nationals are eligible to be furloughed

It’s worth bearing in mind that the Government has established this scheme to help businesses that cannot maintain their current workforce because they have been severely affected by Coronavirus (Covid-19). It is clear, however, that Government also recognises that different businesses will be affected in different ways by this emergency.


We would recommend that you retain any records of company decisions that have led you to apply for the scheme, or keep a note as to your rationale when applying for the funding, from a good corporate governance perspective.


The scheme will run for 4 months from 1st March 2020, but may be extended, and employers can use this scheme for any time during that 4-month period.


For information on this scheme, and other Government support packages, please click here.