Retaining Your Staff & Home Working

Below you will find information on:

Job Retention Scheme:

  • Information from HMRC
  • Step by Step guide from HMRC
  • Question & Answer Guide from Moray Chamber of Commerce
  • Extension of Job Retention Scheme

Furloughing Staff:

  • Martin Lewis’s Explanation of Furloughing
  • Working whilst being furloughed
  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Guidance and Information (including a video guide on furlough leave & furlough guide)
  • ACAS Help & Information (including Furlough letter template & webinars)
  • UK Government Webinars

Skills Development Scotland- support and information available to employers

  • Recruiting due to COVID-19?
  • Redundancy help available

Changes to statutory payments

Home Working

Job Rentention Scheme

Information has now been released about the Job Retention Scheme – information is below from HMRC

In a move that could save businesses up to an extra £300 a month for each employee under the scheme, the Government will now cover the employer’s National Insurance and minimum auto-enrolment pension scheme contributions that employers pay on wages they must pay their furloughed staff – on top of the wages covered under the scheme.

Please read the below information from HMRC on the Job Retention Scheme

“We are writing to tell you how and when to access the system with some more information about what you will need to have ready before the system goes live.

We are also updating you on an important change to the scheme relating to employee eligibility:

  • you can claim for employees that were employed as of 19 March 2020 and were on your PAYE payroll on or before that date; this means that you will have made an RTI submission notifying us of payment of that employee on or before 19 March 2020
  • employees that were employed as of 28 February 2020 and on payroll (i.e. notified to us on an RTI submission on or before 28 February) and were made redundant or stopped working for you after that, and prior to 19 March 2020, can also qualify for the scheme if you re-employ them and put them on furlough.

More information on this can be found on GOV.UK.

How to claim

As you prepare to make a claim, please note:

  • the online claim service will be launched on GOV.UK on 20‌‌ April 2020 – here is the link to the online service
  • the only way to make a claim is online – the service should be simple to use and any support you need available on GOV.UK; this will include help with calculating the amount you can claim
  • you can make the claim yourself even if you usually use an agent
  • claims will be paid within 6 working days; you should not contact us unless it is absolutely necessary – any queries should be directed to your agent, representative or our webchat service
  • we cannot answer any queries from employees – they will need to raise these with you, as their employer, directly.

Information you will need before you make a claim

You will need to have the following before 20‌‌ April 2020:

  • a Government Gateway (GG) ID and password – if you don’t already have a GG account, you can apply for one online, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for ‘HMRC services: sign in or register’
  • be enrolled for PAYE online – if you aren’t registered yet, you can do so now, or by going to GOV.UK and searching for ‘PAYE Online for employers’
  • the following information for each furloughed employee you will be claiming for:
  1. Name
  2. National Insurance number.
  3. Claim period and claim amount.
  4. PAYE/employee number (optional).
  • if you have fewer than 100 furloughed staff – you will need to input information directly into the system for each employee
  • if you have 100 or more furloughed staff – you will need to upload a file with information for each employee; we will accept the following file types: .xls .xlsx .csv .ods.

If you want an agent to act for you

Please note:

  • agents authorised to act for you on PAYE matters can make the claim on your behalf using their ID and password
  • you will need to tell your agent which UK bank account you want the grant to be paid into, in order to ensure funds are paid as quickly as possible to you.

You should retain all records and calculations in respect of your claims.

Guidance on GOV.UK is being regularly updated so please review it frequently.”

Job Retention Scheme- Step by Step Guide for employers

This step by step guide explains the information that employers need to provide to HMRC to make a claim through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). It also describes the processes involved.

Please note that if you are an employer making a claim, you need to follow the processes explained in the guidance page Claim for your employees’ wages through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on GOV.UK before you proceed with your claim. 

Here is the link to the step by step guide


Q&A guide from Moray Chamber and the Scottish Chambers of Commerce

Our partners at Moray Chamber of Commerce have been kind enough to share this Question and Answer Guide about the Job Retention Scheme. 

Here is the link to the guide 


Extension of Furlough scheme 

The UK Government has announced that the current period for furloughing is extended in principle until the end of October 2020.

However one change takes place with effect from August where furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the wages of the furloughed staff – full details are not available at present.

Below please find the press release issued by the UK Government and extra information on the take up of the various loan schemes now available.

The UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October, the Chancellor announced on Tuesday 12 May 2020.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue until end of October

  • furloughed workers across UK will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500
  • new flexibility will be introduced from August to get employees back to work and boost economy

In a boost to millions of jobs and businesses, Rishi Sunak said the furlough scheme would be extended by a further four months with workers continuing to receive 80% of their current salary.

As we reopen the economy, we need to support people to get back to work. From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.

The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.

New statistics published today revealed the job retention scheme has protected 7.5 million workers and almost 1 million businesses.

The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July and the changes to allow more flexibility will come in from the start of August. More specific details and information around its implementation will be made available by the end of this month.

The government will explore ways through which furloughed workers who wish to do additional training or learn new skills are supported during this period. It will also continue to work closely with the Devolved Administrations to ensure the scheme supports people across the Union.

The Chancellor’s decision to extend the scheme, which will continue to apply across all regions and sectors in the UK economy, comes after the government outlined its plan for the next phase of its response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Furloughing Staff

Martin Lewis’s Explanation of Furloughing 

In a quick ‘rough’ video, Martin explains whether you can get your employer to give you 80%+ of your salary, even if you’re on a zero-hours contract, at home looking after the kids, self-isolating or even if you’ve lost your job.

Here is the link- 

Working Whilst being furloughed

Those furloughed can volunteer for the NHS without risking their pay.

The UK Government have stated that whilst an employee is furloughed they can get another job if their current contract allows it.

Please read the below statement:

“If your contract allows, you may undertake other employment while your current employer has placed you on furlough, and this will not affect the grant that they can claim under the scheme. You will need to be able to return to work for the employer that has placed you on furlough if they decide to stop furloughing you, and you must be able to undertake any training they require while on furlough. If you take on new employment, you should ensure you complete the starter checklist form with your new employer correctly. If you are furloughed from another employment, you should complete Statement C. Any activities undertaken while on furlough must be in line with the latest Public Health guidance during the COVID-19 outbreak.”

Here is the link to the UK Government’s website with more information.

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Guidance and Information

CIPD Video Guide – Furlough Leave

Questions answered

  • What does furlough mean?
  • Which employees can be furloughed?
  • Which employers can access the scheme?
  • How do employers access the scheme?

 CIPD – Coronavirus (COVID-19): furlough guide (April 2020)

Here is the furlough guide from CIPD

Here is a link to further information on furloughing from CIPD

ACAS Help & Information

Furlough Letter Template

A template for an agreement to temporarily send home an employee because there’s no work (‘furlough’).

Here is the link to the template (Word document)

ACAS Webinars

Acas experts run regular webinars on employment law topics and employment relations. They’re free to join, you just need to register in advance.

Please note the spaces fill up very quickly so we recommend booking your space immediately. 

Furlough leave: the HMRC Job Retention Scheme

This webinar explains the scheme for employers who have furloughed their workers, or who are planning to. It includes:

  • who can claim
  • what can be claimed, and what is excluded
  • maternity leave considerations
  • National Minimum Wage considerations
  • effects on holiday entitlement
  • selecting employees for furlough and gaining agreement
  • shielding and furlough

 Register now for ‘Furlough leave: the HMRC Job Retention Scheme’

Acas will be releasing more dates over the next few weeks.

View recordings of their recent Acas webinars on their website

UK Government Webinars

Please read the below information on webinars from HMRC.

“The government is committed to supporting people, employers and businesses through the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and HMRC has a range of online support for you.

If you’ve missed any of our live webinars, you can catch up with our series of recorded webinars on HMRC’s YouTube channel – available at a time to suit you.

Whether you’ve already made a claim, or you’re about to, get the information you need by joining the following live webinars. They’re interactive giving you the opportunity to ask questions using the on-screen text box.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Job Retention Scheme: During this webinar we’ll cover furloughed workers, who can apply for the scheme, following the rules of the scheme, how much may be claimed, how to claim and what you’ll need to claim.
Choose a date and time

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – How to make a claim: This guides you through making a claim, including the essential information you need, what to do before you make your claim, calculating and processing your claim.
Choose a date and time

Coronavirus COVID-19 Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme: Providing an overview of the scheme, this webinar looks at who can claim, when to start paying SSP, employees you can claim for, making a claim, keeping records, and more.
Choose a date and time

These webinars are very popular, so we’ll do our best to answer your questions or signpost you to useful guidance.”

Skills Development Scotland- support and information available to employers

Recruiting due to COVID-19

Skills Development Scotland has created the My World of Work job hub to showcase immediate job vacancies in Scotland. Employers can upload opportunities – it’s free, quick and easy to do. Simply upload your vacancy, and once approved will be available for job seekers to view at

Upload your opportunity now

Redundancy help available

Partnership Action for Continuing Employment (PACE) is the Scottish Government’s initiative for responding to redundancy situations. PACE can help employers by supporting employees through the redundancy process, with free, impartial advice available to all, no matter the size of business.

Access PACE support

Changes to statutory payments

Increases to the National Minimum Wage

National Living Wage for workers aged 25 and over increases to £8.72 per hour on 1 April 2020. The national minimum wage (NMW) increases:

  • from £7.70 to £8.20 for 21 to 24 year olds
  • from £6.15 to £6.45 for 18 to 20 year olds
  • from £4.35 to £4.55 for 16 and 17 year olds
  • from £3.90 to £4.15 for apprentices

Make sure you check the rates and update pay roll so your staff are paid correctly. For more information, see National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage rates

New statutory rates

Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP), Statutory Paternity Pay (SPP), Shared Parental Pay (ShPP) and Statutory Adoption Pay (SAP) increases to £151.20 on 5 April 2020.

The rate of statutory sick pay will increase from £94.25 to £95.85 on 6 April 2020. For more information, see Rates and thresholds for employers 2020 to 2021

Holiday pay

From 6th April 2020, employers will have to use a reference period of 52 weeks, (instead of the current 12 weeks) when calculating statutory holiday pay for staff whose pay varies. For more information, see Calculating holiday pay for workers without fixed hours or pay.  

Home Working

With many of us now working from home, here are a 5 tips from the BBC on how to work well from home.

You can read the full article here-

Here is a link to advice for employers and employees who are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic- 


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