The National Minimum Wage (NMW) is calculated on the basis of hours worked, and furloughed workers will not be working any hours for their employer, although they will remain employed by them. Furloughed workers will be paid the lower of 80% of their salary or £2,500, even if, based on their usual working hours, this would be below the NMW. Employers can top up these payments voluntarily.
The Government is also supporting people on low incomes who need to rely on the welfare system through a significant package of temporary measures. These include a £20 per week increase to the Universal Credit standard allowance and Working Tax Credit basic element, and a nearly £1bn increase in support for renters through increases to the Local Housing Allowance rates for Universal Credit and Housing Benefit claimants. These changes will benefit new and existing claimants. Anyone can check their eligibility and apply for Universal Credit by visiting https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit.