Coronavirus Help • April 8, 2020
Top 10 Furlough Questions
Written by Jennifer Ormond
We have been inundated with Furlough questions. Here we answer the top 10 questions we’ve been asked!
1) Can we implement a furlough rosta?
Yes however in order to benefit from the 80% grant from the government the minimum furlough period is 3 weeks on each occasion. There is no indication on the duration required between two periods of furlough of leave but we recommend at least 1 week.
2) Can we use annual leave to top up the 80% to 100%?
The government have permitted annual leave to be rolled over for up to 2 years which suggests that the annual leave does not have to be used when on furlough. If an employees wants to, employers are permitted to class some of the time as annual leave and pay 100% but we expect that they will not be able to claim back 80% of this.
3) Is annual leave taken during designated furlough time at full pay or at the furlough rate of pay?
Annual leave should be paid at 100% of the usual pay. During a period of furlough leave it is reasonable not to require annual leave to be used but if an employee is insistent, please ensure there is a written record of such.
4) Can we extend an apprenticeship by the amount of time furloughed?
5) 80% pay: what happened to company car allowance, pension, other benefits?
The 80% pay does not include employers minimum pension contributions (which should be paid on top of the 80% and can be claimed back). It does not include non-monetary benefits like car and health insurance and they cannot be claimed back. Any decision to stop providing additional benefits should be carried out with the employee’s consent.
6) Can a period of furlough be extended beyond 3 months?
At the moment, no.
7) If an employee has been self-isolating and getting SSP, can they now be furloughed?
Employees can be furloughed after their period of isolation (during which they received SSP) has ended.
8) What if an employee becomes sick when furloughed?
Employees should complete the isolation notes on the NHS 111 website and will receive SSP during this time if eligible.
9) Can we furlough someone who has had to take time off for childcare reasons?
Yes as per our flow chart here.
10) If we agree a temporary reduction in pay for employees who are working, can we confirm this in an email?
Yes, there is no need for it to be signed by both parties. An email confirmation is sufficient.
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