The UK government introduced the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) shortly after the start of the pandemic to help businesses survive its economic impact. If your employer cannot afford to keep you on, they can put you on ‘furlough’, and can currently claim 80% of your salary back, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. The furlough scheme has been reinstated until 31 March 2021, with a review expected early in the new year.

Inevitably, the scheme is complex, but we have put together the answers to some of the main questions you are likely to have about your pay and your workplace pensions. The following information reflects our current understanding of how the scheme operates and we will update it when new details become available. In the meantime, you can also read the government’s guidance on the scheme here. This is updated from time to time. The Money Advice Service is another source of useful information.

Going on furlough is an arrangement between you and your employer, and many aspects of it may have to be agreed between you. If there are specific questions you are unsure about, it would be a good idea to discuss these with your employer, where possible.

This information is based on our understanding of the CJRS as at 24 November 2020.

Can I go on furlough now, if I haven’t been furloughed before?
Does my employer pay me if I’m on furlough, or do I have to claim from the government?
Will I be taxed on it?
Will I receive it on my usual pay day?
Does my employer have to pay me the extra money to make up my full salary?
Am I still entitled to holiday pay?
Will my pension contributions continue?
What if I cannot currently afford to contribute to my pension plan?
What is flexible furlough?
What pension contribution rates apply if I am on flexible furlough?
Can I take another job while I am on furlough?
What if I am self-isolating?