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Coronavirus - if you have problems getting your furlough pay

This advice applies to England

There are things you can do if you:

  • haven’t had any furlough pay yet but think you should have
  • think you’ve been paid the wrong amount
  • think your employer is keeping your furlough pay and not giving it to you

It’s a good idea to talk to your employer first to see if you can sort the problem together.

If you’re not happy with what they say or you can’t contact them, you can tell your employer about the problem in a more formal way - called ‘raising a grievance’.

You can also start a process called ‘early conciliation’ if the grievance doesn’t work. This is a way of resolving disputes with your employer through Acas, an independent organisation.

If you haven't been paid your furlough pay

Your employer should pay you on the same day you’re usually paid.

If your employer says they haven’t had the money from HMRC yet, ask when they applied to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. It should take around 6 working days for HMRC to give the money to your employer after they apply.

If you think you should have been paid by now, ask your employer when they expect to pay you.

You can raise a grievance if:

  • you think your employer has the money and it’s taking too long to pay you
  • you don’t hear from your employer or they won’t tell you when they applied to the scheme

If you think you’ve been paid the wrong amount

Tell your employer if you think they’ve paid you the wrong amount of furlough pay.

You can check our advice on how much furlough pay you should get.

If they say there’s been a mistake, they still need to give you the right amount. They have to do this even if they say they can’t claim the extra money from HMRC.

Ask them to pay you the extra amount you’re owed straight away - you shouldn’t have to wait until your next pay day.

You can raise a grievance if they say they’ve paid you the right amount, but you don’t agree.

If you work for a nursery

Your employer might not be able to claim the full amount from HMRC but they still have to give you 80% of your gross pay. 

You can raise a grievance if they don’t give you the right amount.

Raising a grievance

Follow your employer’s grievance process if they have one - you can still raise a grievance if they don’t.

The first step is to write to them explaining the problem. It’s best to do this in an email. Send it to an email address you know someone is checking.

There are things you should say, depending on what your problem is. You can also check our advice on what to put in a grievance.

If you haven’t been paid

Ask your employer to tell you in writing:

  • the date they applied to the scheme - this will show you if you should have been paid by now or not
  • why their application for your furlough pay failed if they say it did - if it's because they made a mistake, ask what they'll do to sort it out

You should ask them to respond to your grievance and pay you within 7 days.

If you’ve been paid the wrong amount

Tell your employer how much you think you should have been paid. If you need help working this out, you can talk to an adviser at your nearest Citizens Advice.

You should also ask your employer to tell you in writing:

  • how much furlough pay they asked HMRC for
  • how they worked out the amount of furlough pay you should get

You should ask them to respond to your grievance and pay you correctly within 7 days.

Your employer’s grievance process might involve meeting in person to talk about the problem. Tell them if you don’t want to do this because of coronavirus.

If your grievance doesn’t work

You can start a process called ‘early conciliation’ through Acas - an independent organisation that helps sort out employment disputes. 

The quickest way to start is to fill in the early conciliation form on the Acas website. Or you can call the Acas early conciliation team on 0300 123 1122.

You’ll need to fill in the early conciliation form within 3 months minus 1 day of either:

  • the date when you should have last been paid
  • the date your pay was wrong

Early conciliation can last up to 1 month, but it might be quicker than that. If early conciliation doesn’t work, you can go to an employment tribunal. You have 1 month after early conciliation ends to go to a tribunal.

Check our advice on using early conciliation - this includes what will happen if you decide to go to a tribunal afterwards.

If you need money now

You can:

If you think your employer is keeping your furlough pay 

If your employer has had money from HMRC for your furlough pay, they have to give it to you. If they don’t, they might be breaking the law - for example, it could be fraud.

If you think your employer is keeping your furlough pay, you can report them to HMRC. You should still try to get the money you’re owed by talking to your employer then raising a grievance if you need to.

You don’t have to give your personal details when you report your employer. If you’re worried about what could happen to you if you report your employer, you can:

You can report an employer to HMRC on GOV.UK. Choose the option to ‘report tax fraud online’.

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