If an employer cannot cover staff costs due to COVID-19, they may be able to access support to continue paying part of your wage, to avoid redundancies.
If an employer intends to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, they will discuss with their employees becoming classified as a furloughed worker. This would mean that they are kept on the employer’s payroll, rather than being laid off.
To qualify for this scheme, employees should not undertake work for them while they are furloughed. This will allow employers to claim a grant of up to 80% of their wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
The employee will remain employed while furloughed. The employer could choose to fund the differences between this payment and the employee’s actual salary, but does not have to.
If the salary is reduced as a result of these changes, the employee may be eligible for support through the welfare system, including Universal Credit.
The UK Government intended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to run for at least 3 months from 1 March 2020, but has now extended this to 30 October.
We have produced a more detailed explanation of the Job Retention Scheme.