Furlough scheme: How to claim your pay and has it been extended?

A FURLOUGH extension was announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak in the Budget in March – we explain how to claim and when the scheme ends.

Workers on furlough – officially known as the coronavirus job retention scheme – get 80% of their usual salary, up to £2,500 a month.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak updated ministers in the House of Commons in his Budget


Chancellor Rishi Sunak updated ministers in the House of Commons in his BudgetCredit: AFP or licensors

When will the furlough scheme end?

Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed furlough will now run until September.

The scheme was meant to run until the end of April 2021 but plans to extend it were confirmed in the Budget on March 3, 2021.

The scheme will support staff and businesses as lockdown lifts and they are allowed to reopen.

Furlough was initially due to end on October 31 but the Chancellor extended it until December 2 after England was placed in a four-week national lockdown.

Later, on November 5, he then changed his mind again and said it would run until the end of March 2021.

It was then extended again in mid-December by a month to the end of April 2021, before the latest extension to September was announced.

The scheme will change during the latest extension and from July employers will be asked to start contributing to wages.

Mr Sunak said businesses will have to contribute 10 per cent of the cost, increasing to 20 per cent in August and September as the economy reopens.

He said when announcing the extension it was “only right we continue to help businesses and individuals through the challenging months ahead”.

How do I claim furlough pay?

If you’ve been told by your boss that you’re being furloughed, it is their responsibility to contact HMRC.

This means you shouldn’t need to notify the government of any changes to your pay, as your employer will do this for you.

Employers submit information about furloughed workers through an online portal on the HMRC website.

Can I be made redundant if I’m on furlough?

EVEN though furlough is designed to keep workers employed, unfortunately it doesn’t protect you from being made redundant.

But it doesn’t affect your redundancy pay rights if you are let go from your job amid the coronavirus crisis.

Your employer should still carry out a fair redundancy process.

You will be entitled to be consulted on the redundancy lay-off first and to receive a statutory redundancy payment, as long as you’ve been working somewhere for at least two years.

How much you’re entitled to depends on your age and length of service, although this is capped at 20 years. You’ll get:

  • Half a week’s pay for each full year you were under 22,
  • One week’s pay for each full year you were 22 or older, but under 41,
  • One and half week’s pay for each full year you were 41 or older.

Sadly, you won’t be entitled to a payout if you’ve been working for your employer for fewer than two years.

There should be a period of collective consultation as well as time for individual ones if your employer wants to make 20 or more employees redundant within 90 days or each other.

You are also entitled to appeal the decision by claiming unfair dismissal within three months of being let go.

If you’re made redundant after your company has gone into administration you can claim redundancy pay via

The details they provide will include your salary, so the government can calculate how much furlough pay you should receive.

Firms must continue paying staff wages on the usual payday and claim the funds back.

After contacting HMRC, your employer will be given a grant by the government to cover the appropriate amount of wages for furloughed staff.

Who is eligible for furlough?

Employees who can’t work because their workplace has closed due to lockdown measures can be put on furlough.

Parents who can no longer work due to school closures can also be put on the scheme, but it’s up to your employer to decide.

At the moment, you need to have been on your employer’s payroll by 11.59pm, October 30 2020, to be furloughed. 

Workers can be on any type of contract, meaning you could still be furloughed if you are part-time or work zero-hours.

You don’t need to have been furloughed before to be eligible for the scheme, and the business you work for doesn’t need to have used it before.

All employers with a UK bank account and UK PAYE schemes can claim the grant.

The previous rules meant businesses are allowed to bring back furloughed employees on a part-time basis, although the government hasn’t confirmed if this is the case for the April 2021 deadline.

Employees being furloughed from May 1 until the end of September must have been on a PAYE payroll on March 2, 2021.

The details of the extension after April and until September – including who is eligible – has not yet been announced.

How much money will I get if I have been furloughed?

Employees can currently be furloughed full-time or part-time if they are unable to work their full contracted hours.

Workers on the scheme will get 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.

You can work out how much you’ll get by calculating 80% of your normal pay if you’re furloughed full-time.

It’s a little more complicated to work out your salary if you’re furloughed part-time but we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on how to calculate it.

Businesses have to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions for hours not worked.

Employers are still able to choose to top up employee wages above the scheme grant at their own expense – but they don’t have to.

If you’re self-employed, details of the fourth instalment of the support scheme grants were revealed in the Budget.

Here’s how to get furloughed if you’re struggling juggling childcare and working from home.

And we explain your redundancy rights if you’ve been furloughed.

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