Updated Guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

The government has issued the third version of the advice relating to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which can be found here:

The main changes can be summarised as follows:

  • Employers can now switch employees between sick pay and furlough, although this should not be used to top up small amounts of SSP for short duration absences, which may be regarded as an abuse.
  • Further clarification that employers can furlough ‘shielding’ employees and do not require to pay this group sick pay
  • Employees with certain work visas will not be regarded as in breach of their visa conditions if they receive funds under the scheme, as any grant under the scheme will not be treated as access to public funds
  • Employers can claim in respect of employees who TUPE transferred on to their payroll after 28 February
  • The NI and pension contributions which can be reclaimed relate to the furloughed salary, not normal salary
  • Employees cannot work for organisations that are linked to their employer while furloughed
  • Businesses that engaged in payroll consolidation schemes after 28 February can place employees on furlough leave
  • No part of the reclaimed money can be used to fund benefits – it must be paid to the employee in its entirety with no deductions


  • The online portal via which employers will require to make their claims is due to open on 20 April, and the aim is for employers to be paid within 4 – 6 days of submitting their claim.
  • Employers will be able to claim 14 days before payments are due to employees
  • New operational guidance will be published soon to help employers to have their claims ready to upload once the portal opens
  • The guidance will be further reviewed if feedback from stakeholders and employers indicates this is necessary, as the intention is that this will operate on a fully “self service” basis.