Hassle Free HR – Job Retention Scheme (JRS) 

Please note, the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) has now been extended and will continue to operate until 30 April 2021. It is expected that this scheme will then be replaced by the Job Support Scheme (JSS) which is currently on hold until further notice, however this is yet to be confirmed.  We will advise you further when the situation has been clarified.  In the meantime you can read about the JSS here

The JRS was introduced by the government on Friday 20 March, to provide financial assistance to help employers retain employees for an extended period of time (despite not being able to offer work) in order to avoid lay-offs and redundancies. We initially referred to this scheme as the “Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme” but it is now commonly referred to as the “Job Retention Scheme”.  This page contains helpful information about the scheme.

What is the Job Retention Scheme?

The scheme enables employers to place their employees on “furlough” which essentially means putting employees on temporary leave of absence where they do not work and receive no pay, but are still retained and recorded as employees, to be brought back into the workplace when required.  Employers who use the scheme are able to obtain a grant from the Government to cover a percentage of the furloughed employees’ wages, up to a maximum amount per employee per month.  The scheme is open to all employers, there are no restrictions. There was initially a common misconception that this scheme was only applicable for employers who were considering lay-offs or redundancies, but the Government since clarified that the scheme applies to any employee who is furloughed due to circumstances created by the Coronavirus.

HMRC opened the online portal, that allows employers to apply for the Job Retention Scheme, on 20 April 2020. The first reimbursements were made to employers on 30 April 2020.

The financial support offered by the Government has changed/tapered over-time therefore please refer to specific dated sub-headings below for further information.

Employee Agreement

  • Unless there is a right to furlough in the employment contract, you must gain agreement from your employees to designate them as a furloughed worker and reduce their pay accordingly.
  • The agreement must be mutual between employer and employee. A “notice” of furlough, where an employee is “told” they are furloughed, rather than “asked”, is not acceptable.
  • It is unlikely that an employee will withhold agreement when it is explained to them that a possible alternative is unpaid leave, lay-off or redundancy.
  • The agreement must be made in writing, it cannot be verbal. A record of this written agreement must then be retained for a minimum of 6 years, as it is expected HMRC will audit claims once the Coronavirus crisis is over.
  • Employee Agreement also applies to ‘Flexible Furlough’ and the latest ‘extended’ scheme.
  • We have template letters which can be used for placing employees on furlough or flexible furlough, and others to help you manage the Coronavirus situation – please contact us if you would like more information on these.

Family Friendly Leave and Furlough

  • All employees must take at least 2 weeks Maternity Leave (4 weeks if in a factory or workshop) immediately following the birth of a baby. This is a health and safety requirement so an employee cannot be furloughed during this timeframe and cannot therefore be furloughed.
  • In practice, most women start their Maternity Leave before they give birth.
  • If an employee is eligible for Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) or Maternity Allowance, then they will receive this rather than be furloughed. Normal rules apply and they will be entitled to claim up to 39 weeks of statutory pay or allowance. If they qualify for SMP, they will still be eligible for 90% of their average weekly earnings in the first 6 weeks, followed by 33 weeks of pay paid at 90% of their average weekly earnings or the statutory flat rate (whichever is lower).
  • The statutory flat rate is currently £151.20 a week. Some employers ‘top up’ Statutory Maternity Pay and their employees are eligible for an enhanced, earnings related rate of pay. If you do this, then you can claim the “enhanced” part of the maternity pay through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
  • If you have an employee who is currently pregnant and due to start Maternity Leave, they will start Maternity Leave as usual.
  • If your employee’s earnings have reduced due to a period on furlough or statutory sick pay prior to their Maternity Leave starting, this may affect their Statutory Maternity Pay. We are in the process of clarifying this.
  • An employee who returned from Maternity Leave after 10 June 2020 can be placed on furlough, and they can continue to benefit from the scheme after 1 July 2020 even if they have not been furloughed for a minimum of 3 weeks before 30 June 2020. The employee must have been on the Company payroll on or before 19 March 2020.
  • To furlough a Maternity Returner, you must have previously submitted a claim for another employee for a minimum of 3 weeks between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020.
  • The above information also applies to Adoption Leave, Paternity Leave and Shared Parental Leave.

Public-Sector / Government Funding

  • Where employers receive public funding for staff costs, and that funding is continuing, employers should use that money to continue to pay staff in the usual fashion – and correspondingly not furlough them.
  • This also applies to non-public sector employers who receive public funding for staff costs.
  • Organisations who are receiving public funding specifically to provide services necessary to respond to the Coronavirus are not expected to furlough staff.

Common” JRS Rules (irrespective of the financial support offered by the Government)

These general rules apply to all variations of the scheme.  Please refer to specific dated sub-headings below for specific rules which may apply.

  • All employees can be furloughed irrespective of the type of contract they are employed under i.e. part time, full time, employed agency, zero hours, apprenticeship, or variable hours, etc., including those employees hired under a work visa.
  • Employees on sick leave or self-isolating should get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), but they can be furloughed after their period of self-isolation / after they recover from their illness. If an employee becomes ill during their period of furlough they should receive SSP because the advice from the Government is that furlough should not be “abused” to “top up” the earnings of employees who would normally receive SSP.
  • Employees with “caring responsibilities”, which can cover anything from an elderly / vulnerable relative, to a child who is unable to attend school, can be placed on furlough. This was clarified on 4 April 2020 after it was decided unpaid leave for caring responsibilities could negatively impact women more than men, as women statistically tend to adopt more caring roles in family settings.
  • Employees who have two different jobs can be furloughed from both of their jobs, you do not need to consider an employee’s second job role when deciding if you will or will not place an employee on furlough.
  • Employees who are furloughed are able to find alternative employment without their original role, or their furlough payments, being affected. However, the alternative employment cannot be with an employer who is “linked” to the original employer, any second role an employee takes must be entirely separate.
  • Directors can be furloughed, but whilst on furlough they are unable to complete any work for the Company (other than their statutory duties) and only income subject to PAYE can be included in the amount claimed from the Government.
  • Employees who are employed by their own Company (the Company that they own) can be placed on furlough. Owning the Company does not mean an employee is ineligible.
  • Employees can be placed on furlough more than once, so you could choose to “rotate” your employees if you want to ensure fairness in the workplace. Before 1 July 2020, employees could only be rotated once they had been furloughed for a minimum of 3 weeks, but after 1 July 2020 the minimum furlough period was removed, thereby enabling more frequent rotation.
  • However, when claiming the grant for furloughed hours, employers have to report and claim for a minim period of seven consecutive calendar days.
  • You can only claim for payments from the employee’s first date of furlough (the first date the employee did not attend work), not the date the decision to furlough employees was made or communicated to employees, if these two dates are different.
  • Employees who refuse furlough may be at risk of redundancy or termination of employment, depending on the circumstances of your Company. However, any dismissal must be carried out in line with normal fair dismissal procedures and normal redundancy rules apply. You can still make the employee redundant while they are on furlough, or afterwards if there is still no work available for the employee. In this case, statutory redundancy pay (if applicable) and statutory notice, must be calculated on the employee’s normal average or actual weekly pay, prior to furlough.
  • Normal equality laws apply when deciding who should be furloughed. You should ensure that you do not inadvertently discriminate against an employee with a protected characteristic, in line with the Equality Act 2010, when making your decisions.
  • You can choose to “top up” the percentage of grant applicable at the time, so that your employees’ pay remains the same as it was before they were furloughed. You do not have to do this though, it’s your choice.
  • For full time and part time salaried employees, the employee’s actual salary before tax, as of 28 February 2020, should be used to calculate the applicable percentage of grant being claimed. “Past Overtime” payments, fees, and compulsory commission payments can be included. Discretionary commission payments and bonuses, tips, conditional payments or “benefits in kind” should not be included.
  • If your employee has been with the Company for less than a year, you should claim for an average of their monthly earnings since they started work.
  • For employees whose monthly pay varies, who have been employed / on PAYE for a full year, you can choose to claim the higher of either:
    • the amount the employee earned in the same month last year, or
    • an average of their monthly earnings from the last year
  • Your employees will still pay Income Tax, National Insurance contributions and any other deductions, such as pension contributions, from the money they receive. The amounts payable will be altered (will be percentages) to reflect the amount of money employees receive whilst they are furloughed.
  • You are liable to pay Employer National Insurance contributions on wages paid, as well as automatic enrolment contributions on qualifying earnings, unless your employee has opted out or has ceased saving into a workplace pension scheme. The amounts payable will be altered (will be percentages) to reflect the amount of money your employees receive whilst they are on furlough, you will not be required to pay contributions based on the employees’ usual earnings.
  • Employer National Insurance Contributions and automatic enrolment contribution on any additional top-up salary (where you choose to “top up” your employees’ earnings to 100% of their wages during the furlough scheme) will not be funded through this scheme. Nor will any voluntary automatic enrolment contributions above the minimum mandatory employer contribution of 3% of income above the lower limit of qualifying earnings (which has been £520 per month since 6 April 2020).
  • When an employee is on furlough and receiving a percentage of their normal wages, it does not matter if this amount is less than the National Minimum Wage (NMW) / National Living Wage (NLW), because the employee is not ‘working’.
  • However, if workers are required to complete online training courses whilst they are furloughed, then they must be paid at least the NMW / NLW for the time spent training, even if this is more than the applicable percentage (via the scheme at that time) of their average wages.
  • Once employees are on furlough, they will not be able to complete work for you before 1 July 2020, but they can undertake online training or volunteer (subject to public health guidance), as long as they are not making money for, or providing services to, the Company.
  • Whilst an employee is on furlough and cannot complete work for you (which they can do after 1 July 2020), they can seek alternative employment and this will not prevent them from receiving their furlough payments as long as their other employer is not “linked” to your Company.
  • If you place an employee on furlough, the employee will need to remain on furlough for a minimum of 3 weeks (up until 30 June 2020, after which there is no “minimum period”), but it can last longer if necessary, whilst the scheme is operational.
  • You can support your furloughed employees by helping them to find volunteering or training opportunities. This could help employees to maintain positive mental health during furlough, which can be isolating and lead to low mood.
  • Apprentices on furlough can continue with their training but whilst training they must not provide services or generate revenue for their employer.
  • The apprentice, employer and training provider may need to consider whether a break in learning and/or granting extensions to the timetable for assessments, is necessary.
  • HMRC have stated that they will not be pausing apprenticeship levy payments for employers.
  • HMRC has confirmed that employees on furlough can also utilise their annual leave. When an employee is on annual leave, they should receive their full contractual pay / the usual pay they would receive whilst on annual leave.
  • The Government has also confirmed that employees will be able to “carry-over” any untaken annual leave entitlement for the next two holiday years. More information on how holidays entitlement has been impacted by the Coronavirus can be found here.
  • To claim you will need:
    • your ePAYE reference number (if you are not already enrolled for PAYE online then you must sign up. This scheme is only available for employers who use PAYE online systems. The process can take 10 days)
    • the number of employees being furloughed
    • the claim period (start and end date of the furlough. Up until 30 June, the minimum period of furlough is 3 weeks. After 1 July 2020, there is no “minimum period” of furlough, but the claim period must last at least 7 consecutive calendar days)
    • the amount you are claiming
    • your Company bank account number and sort code
    • a contact name and phone number
    • You should make the claim in accordance with actual payroll amounts at the point at which payroll is run, or in advance of an imminent payroll.
    • You must pay the employee all the grant they receive for their gross pay, no fees can be charged from the money that is granted

Specific Rules which applied to the JRS in operation from 1 March to 31 August 2020

  • Any UK employer with a UK bank account was able to claim, but the employee must have been on PAYE payroll on 19 March 2020. As this date was mid-month, it only applied to employers who submitted real time information (RTI) payroll data by 19 March 2020. Where this did not happen, employees who were hired in March did not qualify for furlough.
  • If an employee was employed on 28 February 2020 but made redundant before the 19 March 2020, the employer could agree to re-employ them and place them on furlough instead. The same applied to employees who resigned or were dismissed after the 28 February 2020 but before the 19 March 2020, however employers were under no obligation to re-employ and we advised that careful consideration should be given to re-employing any employees in this category.
  • Employees hired after 19 March 2020 could not be furloughed or claimed for in accordance with this scheme.
  • Employees who were TUPE’d over to their new employer on or after 28 February 2020, but before 19 March 2020, were eligible for furlough from their new employer if the TUPE or PAYE business succession rules applied to the change in ownership.
  • Employees who were classed as “Highly At Risk” and were therefore shielding in line with public health guidance could be placed on furlough. For more information on people who were classed as “Highly At Risk” at that time, please click here. Once the employee was no longer required to shield, they could return to the workplace or remain on furlough, depending upon the needs of the Company.
  • Employees who were placed on furlough for a minimum of 3 weeks between 1 March 2020 and 30 June 2020 could continue to benefit from the scheme, or the new Flexible Furlough Scheme (detailed below) after 30 June 2020. If an employee had not been furloughed for a minimum of 3 weeks before 30 June 2020, they could not be furloughed thereafter, with the exception of Maternity Leave returners (see below for further details).
  • Up until 31 August 2020, you could claim for at least 80% of your employees’ usual monthly earnings, up to a maximum of £2,500.
  • If you had employees who started work in February or before 19 March 2020, you should have used their pro-rata earnings from that month to calculate what to claim.  Employer National Insurance Contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions were then calculated for each employee, using this amount, and could be included in the amount claimed up until 31 July 2020.
  • From 1 August 2020 onwards, employers were required to pay Employer National Insurance and Pension contributions.

Flexible Furlough – changes to make the scheme more “flexible” from 1 July 2020

  • From 30 June 2020 an employee could only continue to be furloughed if they had already been on furlough for three full weeks prior to 30 June 2020, which means the “cut off” date for new applicants was actually 10 June 2020.  Also the number of employees claimed for, from 1 July 2020 could not exceed the total number of employees claimed for prior to 30 June 2020.
  • From 1 July 2020 onwards, furloughed employees were permitted to return to work on a part-time basis. This part-time working could be in the form of any shift pattern etc., as long as the total weekly hours worked were below the number of hours the employee was contracted to work and would have usually worked before they were placed on furlough. When the employee was not working on the part-time basis, they would remain on furlough and continue to receive 80% of their usual wages.
  • Employee Agreement still applied, as above.
  • Employees could enter into a Flexible Furlough Agreement more than once, so if you had previously rotated employees prior to 1 July 2020, you could continue to do this.
  • Prior to 1 July 2020, employees could only be rotated once they had been furloughed for a minimum of 3 weeks, but after 1 July 2020 there was no minimum furlough period, thereby enabling more frequent rotation.
  • However, when claiming the grant for furloughed hours, employers had to report and claim for a minimum period of seven consecutive calendar days.
  • If an employee returned to work on a part-time basis, whilst still being covered by the scheme, the employer had to pay the employee their contractual / full pay for any hours worked. The employer could not claim for this.
  • For any time the employee was not completing work and was furloughed, the employee was entitled to receive the applicable percentage of their earnings, via the scheme.
  • To claim, the employer was required to confirm the number of hours the employee worked during the period being claimed for and the number of hours the employee would normally have worked before being placed on furlough, for the period being claimed for.
  • A record of both of these numbers should be retained for a period of 6 years, in case the Company’s use of the scheme is ever audited.
  • The Government provided a helpful calculation that could be used to calculate  “usual hours”. This calculation can be found here.
  • The employer continued to be responsible for national insurance contributions and pension contributions for any hours where an employee worked. This could not be included in any claim. The grant continued to cover the employer contributions for any non-working time, up until 31 July 2020.
  • Employees had to receive their usual contractual pay for any hours worked under the scheme. This meant that they must receive at least the National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage for hours worked, whichever was applicable.
  • An employee under the Flexible Furlough Scheme could complete training during the hours they were recorded as being “furloughed”, but they must have received at least the National Minimum Wage for those hours.
  • The “wage cap” implemented by the Government as part of the initial scheme, which was £2,500 until 31 August, £2,190 from 1 – 30 September, and £1,875 from 1 – 31 October, was still applicable during flexible furloughing, but was amended based upon the proportion of time an employee worked during the period claimed for. For example, if an employee was at home for 60% of September and remained under the scheme but working for the other 40% of the time, then 60% of the cap applied to the employee. In this case, the cap would go from £2,190 to £1,314.
  • Claims could only be made when you were sure of the exact number of hours an employee would work during the claim period. If you claimed in advance and your employee worked more hours than you had stated when claiming, you would be required to pay some of the grant back to HMRC.

Tapering of the JRS from 1 September to 31 October 2020

All of the above specific rules continued to apply from 1st September 2020 however the amount of the grant that could be claimed reduced as follows;

  • From 1 – 30 September 2020, the grant was reduced from 80% to 70% of the employees’ usual monthly earnings, up to a maximum of £2,190. Employers were required to pay the shortfall of 10% of the employees earnings, so that employees still received 80% of their earnings.
  • From 1 – 31 October 2020, the grant reduced from 70% to 60% of the employees’ usual monthly earnings, up to a maximum of £1,875. Employers were required to pay the shortfall of 20% of the employees earnings, so that employees still received 80% of their earnings.
  • Regardless of the percentage of grant received from the Government, employers were required to pay their employees at least 80% of their usual monthly earnings, up to a maximum of £2,500. The entire grant received from the Government had to be paid to the employees; it could not be used for any other purpose.

Specific Rules applicable to the extended JRS  from 1 November to 30 April 2021

We are still waiting for further clarity from the Government however the following rules have been confirmed.  Please specifically note the points in bold.

  • Any UK employer with a UK bank account is able to claim, but the employee must have been on PAYE payroll by 23:59 on 30 October 2020.  This means a Real Time Information (RTI) submission notifying payment for that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 30 October 2020.
  • The Government expects that publicly funded organisations will not use the JRS but partially publicly funded organisations may be eligible where their private revenues have been disrupted. The same rules have applied to use of the JRS since it began.
  • From December 2020, HMRC will publish employer names for companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs), the company registration number of those who have made claims under the scheme for the month of December onwards.
  • Employers do not need to have used furlough before in order to use it during this period and can use full furlough or flexible furlough but all employers will need to meet the eligibility requirements.
  • There is no maximum number of employees that can be claimed for.
  • Eligible employers who furlough eligible employees will be able to obtain a grant from the Government to cover 80% of furloughed employees’ wage costs for unworked hours, to a maximum of £2,500 per employee per month.  This level of grant will apply until the end of April 2021.  Businesses will be paid upfront to cover wages costs.
  • When an employee is on full furlough, no wage contribution is needed from the employer.
  • Previous flexible furlough rules mean that the employer pays the employee for the hours worked and can claim 80% of wage costs for unworked hours to a maximum which is proportionately reduced in accordance with the number of unworked hours.
  • In both cases, employers can choose to top up pay to the amount the employee would normally receive.
  • Employers will need to pay National Insurance and auto-enrolment pension contributions for hours not worked.
  • An employee who was on a fixed term contract, on payroll on 23 September, and that contract expired after 23 September or an employee who was made redundant after 23 September can be re-employed and claimed for, provided that there is no break in service/continuity of service continues.
  • Employees can be furloughed where they are unable to work because they:
    • are shielding in line with public health guidance (or need to stay at home with someone who is shielding)
    • have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus, including employees that need to look after children.
  • The JRS is not intended for short-term sick absences. If, however, employers want to furlough employees for business reasons and they are currently off sick, they are eligible to do so, as with other employees.
  • Furloughed employees who become ill, due to coronavirus or any other cause, must be paid at least SSP. As under the JRS previously, it is up to employers to decide whether to move these employees onto SSP or to keep them on furlough, at their furloughed rate.
  • Employee Agreement should be obtained to designate them as a furloughed worker, either under full furlough or flexible furlough.  If you had already agreed with employees to be placed into the now postponed Job Support Scheme (Open) or Job Support Scheme (Closed), you will need to revisit the agreement and ensure they agree to be furloughed under the JRS during November and beyond (if applicable).  The agreement should cover both changes to working hours and a reduction in pay (if you are not choosing to top up pay to the full amount the employee would normally receive). It should also instruct employees to cease to do all work during the furloughed hours.
  • In addition, if an employee was on furlough in the period running to the end of October 2020, it is recommended to enter into a new agreement to cover the period from 1 November 2020 rather than relying on an original agreement which could have been in place for months. This is because it could be said that a furlough agreement entered into in April, for example, was foreseen to apply only until the end of the scheme which was, until the very last minute, set for 31 October 2020. It is recommended that, where furlough is continuing uninterrupted from October into November (and possibly beyond), that the agreement is refreshed to specifically cover the period from 1 November 2020 (and beyond if applicable).
  • Any flexible furlough or furlough agreement made retrospectively that has effect from 1 November 2020 will be valid for the purposes of a JRS claim. Only retrospective agreements put in place up to and including 13 November 2020 may be relied on for the purposes of a JRS claim. Employers looking to refresh pre-November furlough agreements could use this retrospective approach to confirm the validity of the agreement.
  • Employers will need to calculate an employee’s reference salary in order to determine what 80% of it is. When employees are on flexible furlough, it will also be necessary to calculate what their usual hours are so you can record both working and furloughed hours.
  • For employees on fixed pay employed on or after 20 March 2020, the last pay period prior to 30 October 2020 provides the basis for calculation. For employees on variable pay or hours, employed after 20 March, the average of tax year 2020 to 2021 up to the start of the furlough provides the basis for calculation.
  • For employees that meet the eligibility criteria, and were previously furloughed, employers must use the same calculations for calculating reference pay and usual hours as the original JRS.
  • For an employee who meets the criteria of the extended scheme but was not previously eligible for JRS, alternative calculations of reference pay and usual hours must be used. Here, 80% of wages (subject to the applicable cap) must be calculated for employees:
    • on a fixed salary – 80% of the wages payable in the last pay period ending on or before 30 October 2020.
    • whose pay varies – 80% of the average payable between the start date of their employment or 6 April 2020 (whichever is later) and the day before their JRS extension furlough periods begins.  These dates are inclusive.
  • When claiming the grant for furloughed hours, employers will need to report and claim for a minimum period of 7 consecutive calendar days.
  • It is expected that annual leave will operate in the same way as under previous furlough rules. These rules confirmed that annual leave continues to accrue during furlough. Annual leave can be taken during furlough but employers must pay the employee’s normal pay i.e. 100% of normal pay for any annual leave. Wage grants can be claimed during annual leave but will still be subject to the maximum grant available. Employers will be able to require annual leave to be taken, or refuse requests from employees.
  • During flexible furlough, previous rules confirmed that annual leave taken during working hours will be treated as unworked hours and therefore count towards hours in respect of which wages can be claimed for.
  • Previous rules also prohibited the employee from doing any work for you during their furloughed hours which means any activity that provided services to you or generated revenue for you or any associated organisation.
  • Some employers may have taken the decision to make employees redundant due to the impact of coronavirus on their business and those employees may be serving their notice period throughout November. However the Government have confirmed that the furlough grant CANNOT be used for employees serving statutory or contractual notice from 1 December 2020.
  • It is expected that the previous rules regarding finding work elsewhere will continue to apply, however, confirmation is needed. This means that employees can obtain work with another employer when they are on furlough with you provided that their employment contract allows for it.
  • Claims can be made from 8am on Wednesday 11 November 2020.
  • Claims can be made:
    • in respect of an employee for a minimum 7 day claim window
    • in advance
    • in arrears for the period from 1 November 2020 to 11 November 2020, from the week commencing 9 November 2020.Claims relating to November 2020 must be made by 14 December 2020.
  • Claims relating to each subsequent month should be submitted by day 14 of the following month. The closing date for claims up to and including 31 October remains 30 November 2020.
  • The claim period must start and end within the same calendar month. If the pay period includes days in more than one month, each of those claims will need to be calculated separately. Claim periods cannot overlap, and employees claimed for will need to be included in each separate claim made.
  • An employer can make a claim in anticipation of an imminent payroll run, at the point they run their payroll or after they have run their payroll. There will be a short period when the legal terms of the scheme and system are updated and businesses will need to claim in arrears for this period.

Further information can be found here

Further Updates following the Third Lockdown, applicable in England only, from 5 January 2021

Following the Government’s announcement on 3 January 2021, that due to a rapid rise in infections, hospital admissions and case rates across the country, and the new variant of COVID-19, which scientists have now confirmed is between 50 and 70 per cent more transmissible, there would be a third lockdown for England, effective from 5 January 2021, the Government have updated its guidance to state that employers can (not must) furlough employees whose health has been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) or any other conditions, including if they are unable to work from home, or working reduced hours, because they:

  • are clinically extremely vulnerable, or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus and following public health guidance
  • have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19), such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school and childcare facilities closing, or caring for a vulnerable individual in their household

For further clarification review the Government’s updated guidance here

Further information about how the extended scheme may change prior to the end of April 2021 will be advised in due course.

Last reviewed on 13 January 2021