What is ‘furlough leave’ and what do businesses need to know?

Covid-19 Advice | Employment & Skills | Latest News
Laura Kearsley

In an effort to keep the economy moving and safeguard UK jobs, the government announced it would be introducing the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as part of a package of measures to alleviate the impact of COVID-19 on businesses across the UK.

Laura Kearsley, partner and solicitor in Nelsons’ employment law team, explains how the new government scheme will work and what actions businesses need to take.

Laura joined us for a webinar to explain more about furlough working and the new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

What is the coronavirus job retention scheme and who can participate?

The scheme will enable businesses to recover 80% of wage costs for employees on ‘furlough leave’ – which is an entirely new concept and is a new class of indefinite leave where the government will reimburse the employer for wage costs.

This has been introduced as an alternative for employers who might have otherwise implemented redundancies, lay-off, unpaid leave or other measures for their employees.

All UK businesses are eligible to claim under the scheme. It seems that employees will be covered, but not other workers (such as casual staff or contractors) or the self-employed.

The government has announced that the scheme is available for at least three months from 1 March 2020 and will be extended if necessary.

What costs can employers recover?

The coronavirus job retention scheme allows for 80% of wage costs to be recovered up to £2,500 per month per employee. There is no limit on the number of employees or the duration. Wage costs are expected to include wages, pension contributions and employer national insurance (NI) contributions.

What do employers need to do?

Employers and employees will need to agree the members of staff being designated as ‘furloughed workers’. This should be straightforward because this route will no doubt be more attractive to employees than redundancy, lay off, unpaid leave or a reduction in pay.

We are recommending employers send a letter or email to each employee concerned and get them to agree to the change in status formally in writing.
Employers will then need to submit details to Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) through a new online portal, which is being set up urgently.

It’s also worth noting that employees cannot elect to be a furloughed worker without their employer’s agreement.

Does the employer have to top up the employee’s pay to 100%?

No, they do not. Some employers may wish to make up the shortfall, while others may not be able to. This just needs to be made clear to all employees concerned. We do recommend that each employer adopts a consistent approach.

What about employees that have already been dismissed or taken unpaid leave?

The scheme is backdated to 1 March 2020 and employers are urged by the government to take back anyone they had already dismissed and convert them to this leave instead. Likewise, with anyone who is on unpaid leave.

What situations will this not help with?

Furlough leave is recommended for anyone that would have otherwise been laid off or made redundant due to the impact of coronavirus on the employer’s business.

It does not help with any situations where employees had agreed to reduce their hours, or to a pay cut but where they are still required to work. There is currently no option to do a mixture of reduced hours and furlough leave.

How will this affect the employment status of employees?

The employees concerned will remain on the employer’s payroll and will continue to accrue holiday and service.

It is also important for businesses to acknowledge that this scheme may create resentment between employees.

Some will still be at work getting either full or reduced pay, while others will be on furlough leave getting paid at least 80% for doing nothing, and those who are off sick – as they are ill or self-isolating – may only be getting statutory sick pay (SSP), which at around £95 per week is likely to be less than 80% of full pay.

There will be an incentive for employees not to notify their employer if they become sick or need to self-isolate during furlough leave because of these adverse pay consequences.

Likewise, the employer will also be better off as they can only reclaim 14 days of SSP as opposed to indefinite furlough leave pay.

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  1. How is furloughed pay going to be calculated?

    I work between 20 to 40 hours every week but am only contracted to 8 hours a week.

    If its 80% of my contracted hours, i’ll only get £55 a week. If it’s 80% of my average monthly earnings, I’ll get about £220 a week.

    That’s a big difference in pay and until we know how its calculated, how can we agree to be furloughed?

    1. The government website (as at 26.3.20) says variable hour workers will be calculated on their average pay over the last 12 months, or from when they started work if less than 12 months. Your company should write to you requesting your agreement to be furloughed.

      1. I handed my notice in in Jan had to serve 3 months notice which is up at the end of april

        The new company cannot start me due to coronavirus what can I claim as I have a home to run

        1. I’d also like the answer to this as in same predicament. One job finishing and another starting where they have already furloughed all the staff and advised me starting date will be delayed

        2. You can ask your current employer to put you on furlough at the end of April. Providing you have a good relationship with them this shouldn’t be a problem?

    2. Hi Laura

      would this be the same for someone contracted to 40 hours a week but does a minimum of 55 hours per week as a lorry driver

      1. I am contracted to do 39 hours but do average of at least 50 hours bus driver what should my furlough wages be based on

    3. My daughter is on a 4 hour a week contract with a high street shop but works an average of 20 hours per week please could you confirm how it should be working out for her please? As her employer is saying she will only get 80% of 4 hours – where can I find the info on hmrc so we can write to them and quote it.

  2. Dear Laura
    Does wage costs include car allowances. The salary value of £37,500 equating to £2500 take home does not equate if pension and employer NI is included


    1. I would also like to know the answer to this. I have a company car which I also use for personal use, which they now want to take back while I’m furloughed. Is this correct that they can do this? As I’m technically still an employee

    2. £2,500 is gross £30k per annum) rather than net and includes any car allowance you previously got. You will not get anything above this unless your employer decide to add the other 20%. It will be subject to income tax, NI and pension contributions if applicable.

      Recommend speaking to mortgage lender, car finance company on the subject of payment holiday if required.

      There are also petitions doing the rounds for Councils to suspend payments during this time. Councils have withdrawn / reduced some services during this time so it is only right that charges are suspended or reduced accordingly to help everyone.

    3. So, I work seasonaly. March til October and have done this for the same company for four years. As a direct result of the virus I have lost my job but I am not covered by any of the schemes because I was not on the payroll at the end of Feburary. Any ideas?

      1. Hi Emma,

        Myself and my husband are in exactly the same situation with our seasonal work. Please advise if you have had any update on this.

        Thank you

  3. What help will self employed workers get . If your a driver for Uber taxis . There is no customers so not getting any money

  4. You refer to furlough, lay off and redundancy in one sentence implying a difference. What is the difference between furlough and lay off? If lay off is redundancy then why mention both in one sentence?

    1. New UK Furlough scheme = employer/government pay your wages while you dont work but you have a job to come back too once things are sorted. (Furlough happens in USA government when budget isnt agreed, but thats unpaid and forced)

      Lay off = temporary but could become permanent if things stay bad.

      Redundancy = permanent dismissed from job.

  5. My employer is saying they will backdate furloughing us to the 1 March, even though we are still working now (24/03) in the office. Can they do that?

    1. I should be starting a new role next Wednesday in a nursery, contract signed, hours and pay agreed but now they are closing until further notice.
      I have resigned from my job as per normal notice, will I get furlough ??

  6. I have 2 jobs and 1 is going to furlough their workforce but the other is not – can I still work for my 2nd employer and receive the 80% wages from the 1st? I have been with both companies for over 10 years.

    1. I don’t have a lay off agreement in my contract which means I should get 100% of wages in times of down turn, etc. My company is only offering the 80% so are they in breach of contract

  7. We have employees who are contracted for minimum of 80 hours and paid by the hour not Salaried – does the 80% cover these employees or just Salaried Staff

    1. My son started with employer on 3rd March. He was employed without a break by someone else before that. Is he entitled to the 80%

  8. I’m confused. At the beginning of the article you suggest ( and this is how I read the hmrc info) that employers continue to pay 100% of salary and then claim 80 % back .
    Later you ask whether the employer can top up the 20 % lost by the employee. This cannot be consistent with the first statement.
    Many commentators suggest the 80% is claimed somehow by the employee but that’s not how I read it

  9. I’m now on furlough leave but have holidays booked in another week and told not to cancel them, should we cancel or get these back ?

    1. My daughter works for a clothing company who was set to close the store & offer jobs in there other stores, she had to work at first but then furloughed her then closed the store, 3 weeks furloughed & they’ve just made her redundant but paying her for the next 4 weeks , is this legal or is there something she should be doing.

  10. Will commission or car allowance be taken into account as wage?
    And will the £2,500 be max an employer is paid or does that include pension and ni so the employer will receive less?

  11. I am the director of a Ltd company and I am the only employee. I work as a locum clinician and am no longer able to work due to clinics being cancelled. Can I claim furloughed pay through my company?

  12. I leave my current job this Friday to begin new job on the 1st but the new company has put this furlongh in place for all employees will this include me?

  13. Can I just clarify that the calculation will be on gross pay. Suggested for weekly paid staff to use average earnings of last 3 months – so would this be gross pay?

  14. i require advice, i have a hair salon and I am a self employed kitchen fitter double wammy for me. I have had to shut the hair salon down which opened in october due to this virus which is right. I have 4 staff that I will hold on and they have all said that they are willing to wait until the government pay there wages upto 80%. 2 juniors that are at home and one staff member who can wait. the thing i have a problem is I have no money in the bank to pay there wages while we are shut and they want to come back when we reopen but have told the staff they will get it when the government pay it. do I still put the staff through the payroll every Friday as norma on ther contracted hoursl then claim the money back for them. please help there is no answers anywhere about this i am waiting for this corona relief portal to open on HMRC website when the government get it done to apply for there wages to be paid..

  15. I work as an administrator in a private care home. My children’s school only had 70 spaces for keyworkers, which my children didn’t get. I’m a single parent and my employer refused to let me work from home because of GDPR even though another department are allowed. I have been informed I have to take the time off as unpaid leave but how does that pay my bills? I requested furlough and my employer refused citing the business does not fall into the category of furlough as they are not at risk of closing.

  16. Will employers need to keep paying furloughed workers while they are not working or can they just pay them (including back payments) once the government releases funds to the employer

  17. I handed my notice in before things got into this state. My new employers Offered me the job and I confirmed acceptance of the position they agreed the start date of the 10th April. I accepted.

    But I have no contract as yet and they think I will not be able to get the furlough benefits.

    Where do I stand please

  18. I have seen a sample Furlough template that lays out the terms of the Furlough which tries to address the issue of the holiday that has and will accrue, and is worded as:

    “Whilst you are in the furlough period, you are required to take any holiday entitlement which has accrued and is outstanding as at today’s date and all holiday leave that accrues during your furlough period.”

    Since the Furlough period is likely to be substantial and could be extended even further, the amount of holiday that could be accrued by each employee could be substantial and could cause a problem for any organisation at the end of the Furlough period, also some people might be Furloughed whilst the “holiday year” rolls over resulting in unused holiday entitlement being lost.

    When Furloughed, should accrued holiday be paid in full or is it subjected to the same 80% salary reduction?

    1. Been fourloughed.
      No return date given. I have no contract of employment. Agree to this during Coronavirus outbreak only. My employer as drawn up a furlough leave agreement and it states when your furlough leave ends we endeavour to provide you with work, in the event of insufficient work being available you agree we are entitled to place you on short time lay-off without any pay except for statutory guarantee payments and/ or to follow the redundancy procedure. Can they put this clause in or can I refuse to sign

  19. Hello, I am paid a small basic salary and i top my income with commission due to my job. Please can you confirm how the 80% is calculated? I would also like to know if we still accrue holidays in the meantime?

    Thank you

  20. I have 4 jobs and 2 is going to furlough their workforce but the others is not – can I still work for my others employer and receive the 80% wages from the 1st? I have been with the companies for over 6 years.

  21. I have a company car with fuel allowance. will the cash equivalent be deducted from the amount I am paid whilst getting the furlough? If so can I return the car as obviously it won`t be using it?

  22. I saw a similar question to this however no clear answer. Does anyone know if the 80% should include car allowance? I was on the understanding it would be 80% of current monthly take home including this however I have been told by my employer it is just basic salary. If they were to include it, the amount would still be less than £2500. Does anyone have any info at all?

  23. My contract ends on April 24th as I have children out off school that require looking after and my husband is a Paramedic I am assuming if the schools dont go back I will now not be able to get a new job until the current situation has stabilize.

    Can I apply for a furlough payment through my current employer? if so how do I go about this and what will it mean going forward?

  24. If I am placed on Furlough by my employer, can they flip flop me on and off Furlough over the course of the months. This is due to there being around 90 staff and they want to rotate us all.

  25. The big question is what do you need to do to qualify, not claim. All uk businesses can claim, but is it only businesses forcibly shut that will qualify? Really need clarification on this otherwise mass redundancies are likely.

  26. My partner and my brother are classed as high risk and has asked their employer if they can be placed on the furlough scheme. The business they work for (manufacturing sport/ motor homes) are still working as normal. Their employer has told them that they are not entitled to be placed on furlogh and that they should take either annual leave or unpaid leave. How do i find out if they can be placed on furlough and what they need to do.

    1. I work in a private nursery full time, so i am classed as a keyworker and we are open. However the very few keyworker parents of children have made other arrangements for their children so they failed to arrive, Because it’s a six mile round trip daily on public transport and social distancing won’t be understood of young children can i request to be placed on furlough.

  27. i have been laid off work due to my employer saying they dont have the cash flow to pay out the 80% and because they dont know when the government will be reimbursement them. When will company’s have access to the funds?

    1. My partner started his new job on the 9th of March and left his previous job on the 7th March. Will he get furlough from his new company?

  28. Am I entitled to furlough as my work was due to close down anyway in June? But obviously I am being laid off now due to Coronavirus! And I am loosing 2 months pay! And being a hairdresser I can’t even carry on working due to close contact with people

    Please help

  29. Dear Laura, I have been advised that from the 1st of April I will be furlough but I have annual leave booked from the 2nd for 2 weeks. Can I still have my leave at 100% and furlough after or do I ask to take my leave later in the year. Or can they advise they are only paying 80% of my holiday pay? Thanks

  30. I started work on the 2nd of March at a new job, and finished my previous job on the 26th of February, people are going to start being furloughed from next week and my employer has told me I won’t qualify for the scheme, what do I do? Should I actually be getting this scheme?

  31. We had a new member of staff start mid March 2020.

    I read that employers can only get the 80% reimbursement via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for staff who started before March.

    If that’s true, what would happen to that member of staff if they have been told they can’t come into work?

    Because if company still pays them (even only 80%), they won’t be able to claim that back. If the company doesn’t pay them, is there any other kind of help available to the new member of staff?

  32. I started a new job on 3rd March 2020… business has dropped and it looks like I’m going to be laid-off shortly HOWEVER my employer has just told me that I won’t qualify for Furlough as I started too late – of course I did not anticipateanythung like this happening when I started my job!! Even though I’ve been in continuous employment since leaving Uni I 2005 I will have no support. Any advice would be appreciated…

  33. Our staff have all been asked (basically forced) to take a 10% pay cut to 90% to cover the costs so as to allow the furloughed employees to be paid 90% also. Can this be forced, are we giving up any rights by agreeing to it now for if/when things return to some semblance of normality?

    Clearly this situation could foster ill will, no one knows who will get the paid ‘leave’ yet and volunteers for 80% pay (whom a few of which I know would jump at the chance) aren’t being considered. Clearly half of the business could be due to be made redundant were this scheme not in place, but rather than doing that for the recently employed or surplus to requirements staff who currently serve no function (their business unit is no longer sustainable), the staff who are needed will be forced not only to continue to work for less, but to have that pay redirected to their colleagues rather than protect the business for the next leg down.

    I know the above may sounds selfish but I am genuinely interested in the legality and implications of anyone agreeing to the cut, how this fits with the rules of the scheme and so on. We don’t know yet who it will be, but for myself being on either side of the table I’d rather an 80/100 spilt.

  34. They’ve cleared up a lot of your questions here:


    It’s £2,500 gross maximum, as if you earned £30K p.a. then minus tax, NI and pension and divide by 12. Employers will also get employer’s NI and auto-enrolled pension contributions on top of the £2,500. Voluntary pension arrangements not included.

    Each job you were working in on or before Feb 28th is treated separately. You can work for 2 and be furloughed from the other 2.

    You continue to accrue holiday pay but you may need to take it at the reduced pay rate depending on your contract before the end of your holiday year or lose it – if you don’t take it, that’s your prerogative but often it is use it or lose it. Your company cannot force you to take holiday immediately nor the holiday that accrues in the meantime except at the end of your holiday year (use it or lose it), especially if it is already booked for November, say. But, always bear in mind that you want a company to come back to work for once this is over so be reasonable.

    Theoretically, the employers portal for the grants will be up and running and tied into the PAYE system for cross checking by April 30th.

    There are several government loan options available for firms with cash flow issues in the meantime it appears.

    Yes, you must actually pay your staff by bank transfer as you have entered their pay into the HMRC PAYE system. You, the employer, cannot hold back the money until the grant money is paid. See above about, essentially, bridging loans.

    All businesses having to force people not to work, for whatever reason, qualify as long as they didn’t close the business a couple of weeks ago or earlier. They can be taking more staff on like the supermarkets but having to shut other, non-essential, business areas down. Those staff can be furloughed.

    Unless you already have multiple employers on Feb 28th, you cannot work for anyone else, nor your employer, whilst furloughed. You can volunteer and do non-profit work.

    If you work for someone else, whilst furloughed, all govt grants for your pay to your current employer will cease and be clawed back, if necessary to the start of your new employment.

    If an opportunity comes for you to not be on furlough, i.e. it’s safe to come in to work or you can work from home and there are things they need you to do then you are not on furlough for the duration of that work and are entitled to full pay by your employer but no govt grant for that period. This will be declared through the employers’ portal and confirmed through PAYE and your payslip. If you are not paid your full pay, this is fraud unless you agreed in writing to a pay cut.

    Yes, sadly, it’s just your basic salary, no bonus nor commission nor fuel allowance, I’m afraid.

    No, you are not losing 3 holiday days a month – your company is wrong. Holiday pay is accrued normally.

    Your company can only bring you out of furlough to cover sick leave or someone who leaves the company so work is now available for your skills. They cannot flip-flop you.

    No car allowance, I’m afraid, just basic salary, or, on zero hours contracts, etc., an average of what you earned in a similar period or the last 12 montsh.

    Yes, employers MUST continue to pay employees through the standard PAYE system for them to be able to claim the grant.

    “I handed my notice in before things got into this state.” Sorry. Don’t think there’s anything for you now.

    “Classed as high risk” – sadly, you cannot ask to be on furlough as it has to be a business need. However, the employer has a duty of care to ensure employees’ safety so should enable work isolation or working from home for vulnerable employees. If this is not possible then their employer’s insurance could be invalidated if they force vulnerable employees to work in unsafe conditions. If a company’s insurance is invalid, no-one can work there, at all, just like you cannot drive a car without valid insurance.

    Agency workers employed as at 28th Feb and declared furlough by the company they were working for, not the agency, are eligible.

    Think that’s most of it.

  35. Hi, frustrated web searcher here hoping I can get some clarity… I had the same job over 10 years… last day was 06/03 with new job started 16/03 and it seems I do not qualify for furlough 🙁 is that right?

  36. I wondered if I run the payroll exactly as I have been through Sage this month, I use “Sage Instant Payroll” on other forums people have suggested that some software payroll providers have added in a “furlonghed” status to select. Sage has not done this and I am scared to run my payroll and submit RTI in-case I am supposed to do something with the software first before submitting and i null and void my furlough claim.
    I have written to employees advising them they are now “Furlongh”with their agreement to this.
    I understand that HMRC will have a direct portal nearing the end of April to apply to but do they need to be “Furlloghed” now via software?

    1. Just pay your staff the agreed furloughed amount, minus tax, NI and AE employee’s pension via PAYE as normal until Sage has a software update and then submit the arranged furloughed staff and furlough dates on the govt portal when it is up and running.

      Any minor discrepancies can be sorted out once the rules are finalised and the portal is in place. Voluntary pensions are extra deductions and the employer may need to keep funding their side of these.

  37. Once put into furlough as I have been what’s the minimum time I can be off is it 3 weeks like government have said or my bosses boss wants a couple of us back in after 2 days and thinks it’s ok as giving me 24h notice . But I could be put on it again next week ? What’s correct answer please

  38. My wife died 4 weeks ago not virus related. I am now finding it hard to get childcare can i apply for furlough and do my work have to give me it?

  39. Hi could someone answer a simple question on the 80% my pay over a 6 day week is £1956.50 gross before any tax or ni or pension payments will the payout be 80% of that or 80% of the £1551.52 nett after tax and ni and pension. just so I know what to expect and to plan going forward if my wages are going to be short £1551.52 – 80% = £1241.21 a diff of £310.30 please could someone answer and hopefully make things a little clearer to understand


  40. Hi Guys,

    iI was due to start my new role on the 1st April, i have resigned from my old role and basically due to start in a few days.

    I signed my new contract dated 18th Feb 2020, to start 1st April 2020. The role has now been postponed until 1st September 2020 due to this. Where do i stand re furlough?

    1. Are you still on payroll with your current employer? If not, it’s a case of very bad timing as you may be one of the people slipping through the cracks in the furlough arrangements.

  41. My employer has laid me off and are ‘looking into’ furloghing. In the meantime I am not earning money and can’t get a temp job as it may jepodise the 80%. The government are urging companies to furlough employees. Where do I stand?

  42. Hi, Can someone help me!

    My employer has asked the question as to whether or not i want to accept furlough. They have also stated that my existing employment contract will be suspended but my employment will remain.

    My question is i have been with the company for 9 months and after having my probation signed off in January; my notice period either way is 3 months. If i accept to be furloughed and then the company decides to terminate my employment at a later date will my 3 month notice period still stand (bearing in mind my contract has been suspended through the acceptance of furlough) or will my notice period now revert to statutory which is stated as 1 week upto 2 years of employment.

    Any help would be greatly received.

    1. Hmmm? Employment law comes in here. When they say your existing employment contract is suspended, is you ask, they will probably say that this means things like accrued extra annual leave and any other “time-at-work” related things like pay rises after x months/years, which is reasonable. It does not mean that your notice period had changed unless they were very careless with the fine print. Nor does it mean that your contract is invalid. It is not.

      If you break your contract by leaving during furlough with a short notice period, there may be legal issues and they may have the right to claw back payments from you. Whether they could be bothered to waste money on this is another matter but in a year or two or five’s time when you need a good job reference for another post, who you gonna call? Don’t burn your bridges.

  43. Hi everyone. Is my Employer can deduct holiday from me while I am on furlough (technically I am still accrue holidays on furlough) , because he would top up the 80%?

    1. See my comment earlier. Your employer cannot force you to take holiday but at the end of the year it may be use it or lose it and be reasonable because your employer is suffering financial hardship as well. You don’t want to be the straw that broke the camel’s back, as it were.

  44. Is my employer allowed to furlough the majority of staff but retain some key employees on reduced pay with the option to furlough these key staff at some future stage if business continues to decline?

  45. hi my daughter has been put on the furlough scheme, but has been told she will only recive nextweeks wages as they have no cash to pay after this, and as the grant scheme will not be inplace until april, what dose she need to claim to live untill her employer pays this 80% wages

  46. Hi Everybody

    I started work on the 24th february 2020 . and because of working a week in hand I did not receive pay till the 6th of March Do i still Qualify for furlough Payments

  47. Hello, my charity receives funding for a post which ends on the 31st March 2020. We began the process of making the employee redundant in January as we will not receive any further funding for her post. The redundancy is not covid-19 related. Is she eligible for furlough treatment?

  48. hi,my notice period suppose to finish on the 9th of february but my company asked me to stay until the 16th of march and then my holiday left from 2019.
    now my boss called to say i will be without job from today .
    what do i do ,any suggestions?

  49. I do the same job as three other employees but as I have worked the longest on a higher salary. My boss has asked me to go on furlough to save money on 80% salary
    Should he have asked others first for volunteers.
    Will I still get paid if I refuse to sign paper.
    Directors wife is on the payroll but doesn’t work should she be considered 1st. I think it was a legal tax dodge.

  50. Good afternoon, I have a question. If someone joint the payroll only recently (from 1st of March)- are these people covered by furlough scheme?

  51. I have a permanent job with a contract and today I learned that I am sent to furlough for 3 weeks. The management already knew that starting with April 10 and until April 27, I have holiday that I have booked since last year.
    If I am in furlough during this period, can I ask to cancel my holiday? For furlough we are paid 100%. Thank you.

  52. My son started work in Jan 2020 and employer now says he is to go on furlough but take one day each week as holiday. Is this permitted? he works in research and to date has had to work in the factory as cannot work from home.

  53. I have received a govt letter and a letter from my GP stating due to my medical records I need to take 12 weeks off work

    I’m employed . I want to understand how I will receive my 80% govt pay,

    Does my company automatically put me on the scheme

  54. My daughter has had cancer and chemo , she worked up until two weeks ago and stop when she when she received a letter stating she was high risk. Now she had to go back to work as she can not claim sick pay or furlough . What can she do ?

  55. My boss has put us on Furlough and has asked us to still work – I work in sales with the promise if we do any extra work and sell anything we can come off Furlough.

    I think she is committing benefit fraud am I ?

  56. My husband and his colleagues have just been made redundant due to coronavirus. His employer, a road paving company, tells them he has ceased trading but on the phone he tells my husband he hopes to resume the business when this is all over. He says his accountant has advised him. My question is, why can he not apply for furlough payments for his staff, why does he have to claim he has ceased trading, what would prevent him from claiming furlough?

  57. I am 65 work as a cleaner in a warehouse I have diabetes and I’m due to retire in September I only work 8 hiours a week I ask for furlou cause I am worried but was told because warehouse was open I couldn’t I at moment I have gone on sick but suriously thinking of handing my notice in as I won’t get any sick pay

  58. I run a small business which is still operational and have put in safety precautions for all my staff, however a few are refusing to come in to work claiming that I have to pay them 80% of their salary per the HMRC guidelines. First of all they haven’t discussed or agreed this with me and I am now short staffed whilst orders are still coming in. I am trying my best to do what’s right but it is difficult to not feel pressured by my staff. They aren’t affected by the virus or self isolating and they don’t want to provide a sick note and I don’t think that what they are doing is legal? Please can you advise me?

  59. I’ve received letter from doc, high risk so my employer agreed to giving me furlough, for 10wks, asking that I use 2wks of my hols during this to make it 12. Can they force me to use hols while on furlough?

  60. Hi there
    I work for a company and been there 5 years now. I am classed as a key worker and there is no danger of me losing my job.
    My young daughter is classed as very high risk as she has a rare immune deficiency. I was led to believe I could furlough in order to shield her as I work in a busy environment. This was denied . Is there anything I can do as I fear I could bring this bug home with me.
    Thanks guys

  61. Hello,

    Although I previously agreed to go on furlough and confirmed this via email, my workplace are now saying I must sign a contract in order to receive the furlough pay. The contract they have asked me to sign includes a new clause which states they are able to keep me on unpaid leave after the government scheme has finished, if they have no work for me. Because of this and a couple of other issues I highlighted with HR, I have said I don’t feel comfortable to sign the contract. They have said that if I don’t sign, by tomorrow, my furlough will be withdrawn and they will have to discuss my employment status. They also mentioned making me redundant if I don’t sign. Do I have any choice here? There is a very high chance that if i sign this, when this is all over they will put me on unpaid leave due to the nature of my work. So I feel very stuck at the moment.

  62. I have received my furlough letter from my employer and it has a statement which reads:

    In relation to your other terms and conditions of your employment, the following changes will apply as a result of the period of the furlough leave:

    The number of days of additional contractual holiday you accrue over the year will be reduced in proportion to the amount of time you spend of furlough leave.

    Are they allowed to do this?

  63. I am halfway through my first week of being furloughed, but I have a feeling that the situation may become convenient to my company to cut it short and bring me back before the three weeks are up. Would they be able to do this?

  64. I have a job in London, but travel from Bristol. I am pregnant and therefore shielding. This job cannot be done from home, but can be covered by others. No other employees from the company have been furloughed and 90% are working from home. Am I be eligible for furloughed pay? Or expected to take unpaid leave?

  65. My partner has been told by her employer that they have applied to put her on the furlough scheme but that she will not receive any money in this months wage packet. They have said they ‘do not know’ when she will start receiving funds but it would be backdated as she stopped working 3 weeks ago. Is it true that it can take several weeks for a business to get onto the scheme as this is not going to help us feed our children throughout May.

  66. I was furloughed this week. My employer has phoned twice, asking questions about work done before furlough. Do I have to answer her calls? Is she breaking the law re furlough?

  67. Hi Laura
    I resigned from my current job on 28th February 20 having to work a 3 month notice period to start a new job. I am unsure whether the new job will be there on 1st June what is my position with my current employer?
    Many thanks

  68. I am working dress warehouse (3years)
    Still open it and i am still working
    I send to mail payroll managers (I accept %80 payment) (they want to from all staff )
    I ask to payroll manager am i furlough or payroll
    He say to me I can’t say this
    Supervisor say to all staff if you are not coming we are not payment and maybe you can lose your job
    Is it ok
    Last week i am not gone because I feel bad
    Will pay me my money or no

  69. My company want to furlough me but are saying that they will only pay me the day rate I was under the impression that furloughed pay had to be the greater of either average earning for the last tax year or or the same pay month last year. Are they allowed to pay me only a day rate?

  70. I started a new job on the 9th March and was sent to work from home starting from 23rd March. After working for a week from home it was stated that the company will introduce the “None Working Policy Agreement” which was 4x weeks @ 70% and no “Pay Back” to the company and then the next 8x weeks @ 70%, but paid back in Over Time/ Holiday Loss or Loose the Salary in Working Time e.g Loose 10hrs a week though worked a full week. It was then stated that the company would Furlough the staff and have 80% with “No” pay back over 12x weeks. I was told I do not qualify for Furlough as I have done less than 1x Month at my new company and this is a Government ruling and I would have to have the Company “None Working Policy Agreement” – Question? Is this Government Ruling correct or not?

  71. I’ve been in isolation for 2 weeks and company is still fully running but been told my area carnt have me back due to social distancing 1 person in stores 110sq metres we could both work safely but boss wants to furlough me I contracted to permanent days but to get furlough has put loads of hidden extras in and will be a permanent change of contract extras are can lay me off with no pay make me redundant change my hours of contract put me on short time I’ve refused to sign contract and is threatening me with redundancy can only come back to work if work nights but my contract is 7.30 till 4 but using social distancing measures saying I carnt returrm 2 people in 110 sq metres yet in next unit on machines got people working less than 2 meters apart feel I’m being forced out I’ve trained other lad up and I’m on lot more money now he is trained using coved 19 to get rid of me and we are very busy
    What are my options.

  72. my son started work on 2nd March, he was on a seasonal contract until October, on 9th April they terminated his contract early due to Covid-19.
    They are saying he is not eligible to be furloughed as he wasn’t on the payroll on 19th March.

  73. I was made redundant on 31st January 2020 from a company after working for them for over 5 years and worked part-time 16 hours a week. They tupeed me to another organisation who made me redundant the next day on 1st February 2020 with a redundancy payment and 5 weeks in lieu of notice via a compromise agreement. Am I entitled to be Furloughed by either organisation? Many thanks

  74. I have just been contacted by my company who I have been in Furlough with.
    They have said that due to lockdown being extended my salary for May will be now be 70.5% of what my salary was beforehand .
    Should I accept this ,I have been with the company for 21 months .I am a site Manager

  75. I have holidays booked at work whilst i,m on furlough, do i lose these holidays or do i cancel them, because one of my holiday is whilst in lockdown and obviously cant go i dont want to lose it, Thank you

  76. Hi I worked for coach company who has 13 drivers 7 of us have been sacked and 6 have been furlough on full pay the 7 have not been there 2 years can they just sack us have asked to be furloughed but they refused thanks

  77. I work as a p.a to a run for private school which is 1 of routes in my company. The rest are council run. Ive been furloughed as no revenue from school . Im the only one that this has happened to. Surely others would be furloughed

  78. We made an employee redundant as we will be adversely affected when we reopen due to less custom (we are a sports club and teams have been reduced etc plus social distancing) this ex employee has asked us to furlough her but I know we don’t have a position for her to come back to, (hence the redundancy) if we furloughed her are we liable to give her a job when we reopen or is it purely to keep her finances during lockdown?

  79. My wife is now on chemo drugs having had a partial mastectomy. I’ve used 80% of my annual holidays from my company. I have sent them a letter from my doctor explaining her compromised immunity and the fact that I’m her primary carer. However I’ve been told that I will not be furloughed and any more time off will be absent without permission. My presumption is that this is immoral but NOT illegal. Am I unfortunately correct?

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