Latest Guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Employee rights & disputes - KBL Solicitors

The Government has, as of 15 April 2020, published further guidance in respect of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“CJRS”). This is likely to be the final update on the CJRS.

  • Prior to 15 April 2020, employees were only eligible for furlough if they had been employed and on the PAYE payroll on 28 February 2020. The Government has now extended this date to 19 March 2020, providing that the employer has submitted real time information payroll data by that date.
  • To claim furlough, the employer and employee must have agreed in writing that the employee will cease all work during the furlough period.  Previously, the Government’s guidance only provided that employers needed to notify staff of the furlough leave. Employers who have not sought written confirmation from their employees that they agree to being placed on furlough and that they will cease to carry out any work for the employer will need to rectify this immediately. Without the agreement in writing, the employees are likely to fall outside the scope of the scheme.
  • The CJRS applies to any employee or worker who has been furloughed by reason of circumstances as a result of coronavirus. It is not limited to those who would be made redundant in light of the circumstances.
  • Previously, the Government stated that directors can be furloughed and can continue to carry out their statutory duties. It was unclear as to what amounts to a statutory duty. The new guidance provides that a director can be furloughed and can carry out work relating to the filing of company accounts or other information relating to the administration of the director’s company. This is a very narrow interpretation, meaning that directors are still unable to carry out most of their work, in the same way as any other employee who has been furloughed.
  • The amount of salary that is received by the employee is based on their regular salary or wages. This does not include any bonuses, tips, or any non-financial benefits.
  • The employer cannot claim for any salary which is “conditional on any matter” – for example, any salary payments that have been agreed by the employer and employee which are conditional upon the CJRS paying out are excluded.
  • The employer may claim for the gross amount of earnings paid or reasonably expected to be paid to their employees. This seems to include deferred earnings, provided that they are not on the condition of the CJRS paying out to the employer.
  • The CJRS is expected to end on 30th June.
  • There is no further guidance on employees taking annual leave whilst they have been furloughed. It has previously been confirmed that employees who have been furloughed will continue to accrue their annual leave entitlement and be able to take annual leave.

Businesses will be able to access the HMRC Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme portal from next Monday, 20th April. With the first reimbursements likely to be made on 30th April and future payments being made 4/6 weeks after submission. Further clarification on the portal and what is required to make a claim are outlined here.

If you would like to discuss any of the points raised above then please contact Sarah Collier on  This article is correct as at 17th April 2020.