The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) allows UK employers to access government support to help retain staff that they would otherwise may have considered laying-off, reducing pay / hours or making redundant. If your employee is furloughed, they should not be undertaking any work. This includes providing services or generating revenue.
HMRC has published useful guidance concerning the employees you can claim for. You can only claim for furloughed employees that were on your PAYE payroll on or before 28 February 2020. Employees hired after 28 February 2020 cannot be furloughed and claimed for in accordance with this scheme.
Employees can be subject to any type of employment contract including full-time, part-time, agency, flexible or zero-hour contracts. Foreign nationals are eligible to be furloughed.
To be eligible for the grant, when on furlough, an employee cannot undertake work for, or on behalf, of the organisation. This includes providing services or generating revenue. Employers are free to consider allocating any critical business tasks to staff that are not furloughed. While on furlough, the employee’s wage will be subject to usual Income Tax and other deductions.
Note, that employees who have had their hours reduced, but who are still working, are not eligible for the scheme.