Update: Until 30 April 2021, all employees can be placed on furlough, regardless of whether or not they had previously been furloughed, provided they were on their employer's payroll by 30 October 2020.
What does ‘furloughing’ employees mean?
'Furloughed' employees are employees who would have otherwise been laid-off during the Covid-19 crisis. Furloughed workers are not people who have been made redundant.
Why do I need furloughing documents?
If you have experienced a downturn in business or a closure of business and can't afford to keep paying your staff because of Covid-19, you can seek support under the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all employers in the UK will be able to access support to continue paying part of these employees' salaries, therefore, keeping them on the payroll and avoiding the need to make them redundant.
These furloughing documents allow you to seek your employees’ permission to furlough them and confirm that and from when they have been furloughed. They also allow you to recall an employee from furlough, when you need them to return to work.
For more information, read Furlough, workforce reduction and managing employees.
Which furlough document should I use?
You should use the Furlough letter to employees to notify employees of your intention to change their employment status to a 'furloughed worker' in order to access the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. You should send this letter to receive the employee’s permission to change their employment status.
You should the Furlough leave confirmation letter to confirm to employees in writing that their employment statement has now been changed to ‘furloughed’. The Furlough leave confirmation letter should be sent after the employee has consented to having their employment status changes using the Furlough letter to employees.
You should use a Furlough letter for previously furloughed employees when a furloughed employee is to return to work. An employee must have been furloughed for at least 3 weeks before they can be recalled from furlough to be eligible under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
What should I do after I have furloughed someone?
You will need to submit the following details to HMRC through a new online portal, which opened on 20 April 2020:
the number of furloughed employees
the names of the furloughed employees
the furloughed employees’ national insurance numbers
the furlough start and end dates
your employer PAYE reference number
your Self Assessment Unique Taxpayer Reference or Corporation Tax Unique Taxpayer Reference or Company Registration Number
the amount you are claiming (per the minimum length of furloughing of 3 consecutive weeks)
your bank account number and sort code
your contact name
your contact number