this 80% wages thing...

My missus has just been put on a zero hours contract as the place she works is shut and theres possible redundancies... I told her to ask in her consultation interview if theyre gonna claim the 80% for the staff and they replied that theyre too small to qualify... sounds like bull to me?

I cant see anywhere what the criteria is other than the staff need to be stood down, not laid off... why wouldnt an employer claim it to keep their staff on?
Sounds like bull to me. Does the company work it out and pay it or do you have to claim.
The company size is utterly irrelevant.

You simply put your staff on absence of leave but retain them on your payroll (furlough them) and when the system is up and running, you put their wages through as normal and get refunded 80% up to the maximum of £2500 a month. Her company is bullshîtting. There is a stipulation that they cannot do any work for the employer whilst being furloughed.
They are not breaking the law, they’re just not acting in the best interests of their employees, which is immoral considering that it isn’t costing them anything but gives their employees a comfort blanket at a very difficult time for everybody.