The Government has updated its advice on its furloughed workers’ scheme.
The Government has published updated guidance on its furlough scheme which pays grants of up to 80% of wages capped at a salary of 2.5k pounds a month to employees who cannot work due to the coronavirus.
The guidance says that if an employer chooses to place a person on furlough, they will need to remain on furlough for a minimum of three weeks. However, they can place you on furlough more than once and one period can follow straight after an existing furlough period, while the scheme is open. This will help many childcare providers, for instance, who face fluctuating demand due to sickness, closures and other issues. The scheme will be open for at least three months.
The scheme, which is not open to the self employed, is expected to be up and running by the end of April. The grant will start on the day workers are placed on furlough and this can be backdated to 1 March.
The guidance also clarifies the following points:
It was also confirmed that commission payments are not included in furlough payment calculations.
Workers starting new jobs or moving between jobs are concerned that they are excluded from the scheme and the Treasury is reported to be in talks about this. Money Saving Expert’s Martin Lewis has encouraged those who have found themselves in this situation to request that their former employers rehire, and then furlough, them.
On 4th April, the Government updated the guidance again to cover employees who can’t work due to childcare problems. It now states: “If you are unable to work, including from home, due to caring responsibilities arising from coronavirus (Covid-19), such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school and childcare facilities closing, or caring for a vulnerable individual in your household, then you should speak to your employer about whether they plan to place staff on furlough.“
It adds that funds will start from the day an employee is placed on furlough, which can be backdated to 1 March 2020.
The Government has also announced that employees can carry over statutory annual leave for two years, where it has not been reasonably practicable for the leave to be taken due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.