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COVID-19: Update on the Job Retention Scheme (Furlough Scheme)


If you have been making claims under the furlough scheme, then you should be aware of the following as it draws to a close:


  • The scheme will close on 31 October 2020. The deadline for claims is 30 November 2020. There is no appeal process and no facility to make late claims.
  • There are financial penalties for those employers who have over-claimed. If you have claimed too much, or your circumstances have changed, meaning that part or all of a claim becomes ineligible, then you should report this to HMRC within 90 days, or by 20 October 2020 - whichever is later. All adjustments (including under-claimed amounts) should be sorted by contacting HMRC prior to 30 November 2020.
  • Arrangements in working patterns will need to be confirmed in writing and all paperwork should be kept for the required retention period of six years.


For updated guidance, refer to Government Guidance on the COVID-19 Job Retention Scheme.    


Lunchtime Employment webinar with Mark Jones and Gemma Herrick of Edward Connor Solicitors


This webinar, recorded in June, discussed updates to the furlough scheme from July. The latter part of the recording contains information on what to do if you have no work for your staff to return to at the end of the furlough scheme, including alternatives to redundancy.




* This webinar was recorded on 23rd June 2020. All the information and advice shared was relevant to the challenges being faced during the COVID-19 outbreak. Please ensure you check this advice is in line with current government advice. Whilst every care has been taken in the preparation of this recording, Stewardship cannot be responsible for action taken or refrained from in reliance thereon. It is recommended that appropriate professional advice be sought in each relevant individual circumstance. 


Job Retention Bonus

To encourage employers to keep their previously furloughed employees on the payroll until the end of January, the government announced the Job Retention Bonus. The employer can apply for a bonus of £1,000 for each eligible employee who:

  • Was included in an eligible claim under the Job Retention Scheme
  • Has been brought back to work and remains on the payroll at 31 January 2021
  • Is not working their notice
  • Has earned at least £1,560 between 1 November 2020 and 31 January 2021

Claims can be made between 15 February and 31 March 2021. Further guidance on how to claim is expected towards the end of January.

More details can be found here: Government Guidance on the Job Retention Bonus


Job Support Scheme

This is due to commence on 1st November 2020 and will continue for six months to the end of April 2021. The scheme is to support employers for viable jobs (where the employee can work at least 33% of their normal working hours) in businesses facing lower demand over the winter months due to Covid-19.

The initial details that have been released are: 

  • The employer must pay the employee for hours worked, with a minimum of 33%
  • The government grant will cover one third of the hours NOT worked (up to a cap of £697.92)
  • The employer must top-up a further one third of the hours not worked
  • Employees cannot be fully furloughed under this new scheme and employers cannot top up to 100% of usual pay

Eligible employers will have a UK bank account and a UK PAYE scheme. They do not need to have taken part in the Job Retention Scheme to qualify to use this new Job Support Scheme.


Eligible employees will be on the payroll on 23rd September 2020 and will have been included in an RTI submission on or before that date. They cannot be on notice of redundancy.


Employees can cycle on and off the scheme, with each working pattern being arranged for a minimum of seven days. Employers must agree the new short-time working arrangements with their staff, make any changes to the employment contract by agreement, and notify the employee in writing.


Official guidance is expected soon and further information can be found here: Job Support Scheme - GOV.UK