Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Furlough
Last updated: 28 Nov 2023
*The latest government guidance can be found here.*
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (otherwise known as “furlough”) was a temporary scheme open to all UK employers which ended on 30 September 2021. It was designed to support employers whose operations have been affected by the health, social and economic emergency in the UK caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Employers will not be able to furlough staff after 30 September 2021 and those who were on furlough are likely to be expected to return to work.
Employees who have been furloughed have the same rights as they did previously. That includes maternity rights, other parental rights, rights against unfair dismissal and to redundancy payments.
While you were on furlough you would have continued to accrue annual leave as normal. Your employer should not have lowered your holiday pay to below 5.6 weeks (pro rata if you work part time) per year. This is the minimum amount of paid annual leave set out in the Working Time Regulations. The government announced on 27 March 2020 that where it has not been reasonably practicable for employees to take all of their annual leave due to coronavirus, they can carry up to four weeks of leave over into the next two leave years.
Following the end of the furlough scheme, you may find the following pages helpful:
- Return to work and health and safety
- What are my rights?
- What financial support is there for working families?
- Rights for carers (or those that are living with someone who is clinically extremely vulnerable to Covid-19 or is ‘shielding’)
- Redundancy during Covid-19
This page is only relevant for employees and workers. If you are self-employed, have a look at our page on financial support instead.
If you have further questions or concerns regarding the end of the furlough scheme and would like to contact our advice team, please use our advice contact form below or call us.
Where can I go for more help?
We have created a number of articles on topics relating to coronavirus. These are linked at the very top of this page.
Links to further resources:
This advice applies in England, Wales and Scotland. If you live in another part of the UK, the law may differ.
If you have further questions and would like to contact our advice team please use our advice contact form below or call us.
The information on the law contained on this site is provided free of charge and does not, and is not intended to, amount to legal advice to any person on a specific case or matter. If you are not a solicitor, you are advised to obtain specific legal advice about your case or matter and not to rely solely on this information. Law and guidance is changing regularly in this area.
We cannot provide advice on employment rights in Northern Ireland as the law is different. You can visit the Labour Relations Agency or call their helpline Workplace Information Service on 03300 555 300.