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What You Need To Know About Furlough

The past few months’ has lead to a lot of conversations about furlough and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. While the scheme is there to support businesses and their staff through the Covid-19 crisis, a lot of business owners and staff have some valid questions about what they can and can’t do while furloughed.

Things like, what happens to annual leave? Can they work for another employer? Can they be furloughed by more than one employer? Can an employee volunteer elsewhere?

All relevant questions, which we will try to answer for you today.

What happens to holiday entitlement?
More than likely, employees will still accrue holiday leave under the Working Time Regulations 1998.

What if a member of staff returns to work with insufficient time left in the year to take their holiday entitlement?
Effective from 26 March 2020, the government passed emergency legislation relaxing the restriction on carrying over the four weeks’ leave derived from the Working Time Directive.

Can an employee work for anyone else on furlough?
The current guidelines suggest that as an employer you will only be able to access the Job Retention Scheme if the employee agrees as a condition of their furlough that the do not work anywhere else. While the employees’ contract remains in furlough, the conditions of that contract remain unchanged, i.e. an employee cannot work elsewhere if stated in your contract.

I have part-time staff who have more than one job, can they be furloughed for both jobs?
Yes, an employee can be furloughed by one employer and continue to work for the other, or can be furloughed by both employers. The scheme will reimburse each employer for a percentage of the employee’s salary, up to the £2,500 cap for each job.

Can employees on furlough leave do volunteer work?
Yes, as long as the employee does not receive any reimbursement of wages for their volunteer work.

What about training? Can I get my employees on courses while furloughed?
Yes. If your furlough agreement with the employee states that they can undergo training for you while on furlough. However, the employee cannot be paid for this and also cannot put the training into place to generate any income for your businesses until they are back to work and off the Job Retention Scheme.

If you have any questions, please contact us via our online contact form or on any of the contact numbers above.

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