Retaining Your Staff & Home Working

Below you will find information on:

Job Retention Scheme:

  • Information from HMRC on Extension of scheme & flexible furloughing
  • Step by Step guide from HMRC
  • Question & Answer Guide from Moray Chamber of Commerce
  • Retention Bonus

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

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.


Flexible furloughing

From 1‌‌ July 2020, you’ll have the flexibility to bring previously furloughed employees back to work part-time – with the government continuing to pay 80% of wages for any of their normal hours they do not work up until the end of August. This flexibility comes a month earlier than previously announced to help people get back to work.

You can decide the hours and shift patterns that your employees will work on their return and you will be responsible for paying their wages in full while working. This means that employees can work as much or as little as your business needs, with no minimum time that you can furlough staff for.

Any working hours arrangement that you agree with your employee must cover at least one week and be confirmed to the employee in writing. When claiming the CJRS grant for furloughed hours, you will need to report and claim for a minimum period of a week. You can choose to make claims for longer periods such as on monthly or two weekly cycles if you prefer. You will be required to submit data on the usual hours an employee would be expected to work in a claim period and actual hours worked.

If your employees are unable to return to work, or you do not have work for them to do, they can remain on furlough and you can continue to claim the grant for their full hours under the existing rules.

Employer contributions

From August, the government grant provided through the job retention scheme will be slowly tapered.

  • in June and July, the government will pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance (ER NICs) and pension contributions for the hours the employee doesn’t work – employers will have to pay employees for the hours they work
  • in August, the government will continue to pay 80% of wages up to a cap of £2,500 but employers will pay ER NICs and pension contributions – for the average claim, this represents 5% of the gross employment costs that they would have incurred if the employee had not been furloughed
  • in September, the government will pay 70% of wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 10% of wages to make up 80% of the total up to a cap of £2,500
  • in October, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee does not work – employers will pay ER NICs, pension contributions and 20% of wages to make up 80% of the total up to a cap of £2,500
  • the cap on the furlough grant will be proportional to the hours not worked.

If you are a smaller employer, some or all of your employer NIC bills will be covered by the Employment Allowance, so you should not be significantly impacted by that part of the tapering of the government contribution.

Around a quarter of CJRS monthly claims relate to wages that are below the threshold where employer NICs and auto enrolment contributions are due, and so no employer contribution will be required for these furloughed employees in August.

Important dates

It’s important to note that the scheme will close to new entrants from 30‌‌ June. From this point onwards, you will only be able to furlough employees that you have furloughed for a full three-week period prior to 30‌‌ June.

This means that the final date that you can furlough an employee for the first time will be 10‌‌ June for the current three-week furlough period to be completed by 30‌‌ June. Employers will have until 31‌‌ July to make any claims in respect of the period to 30‌‌ June.

How to claim

As you prepare to make a claim, please note:

  • 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 you claim:

  • 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 


Retention Bonus 

The government will introduce a one-off payment of £1,000 to UK employers for every furloughed employee who remains continuously employed through to the end of January 2021. Employees must earn above the Lower Earnings Limit (£520 per month) on average between the end of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and the end of January 2021. Payments will be made from February 2021. Further detail about the scheme will be announced by the end of July.

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.

View recordings of their recent Acas webinars on their website

UK Government Webinars

Find out if you can use the Statutory Sick Pay Rebate Scheme, or how to make a claim on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, by joining one of the following updated webinars.

Demand for these webinars has been exceptional, so we’ve added even more dates.

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

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

There are a limited number of spaces, so save your place now.

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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