COVID 19 – FAQ’s on Furlough Leave
The government has updated the guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme since our last published FAQ’s. The full guidance can be found here:https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme . Our FAQ’s have been updated below to incorporate the new guidance where applicable to our furloughed employees.
Do I need to return my furlough agreement to HR?
Yes, it is mandatory for you to return your signed agreement as we must keep evidence that we have notified employees of their furlough status in writing and keep the record of that written notification for five years.
When does my period of furlough commence?
Claims for furlough leave will be started from the date that you finished work and started furlough, not when the decision made, or when you were written to confirm your furloughed status.
Can I be furloughed more than once?
Yes, you may be furloughed multiple times, but each separate instance must be for a minimum period of 3 consecutive weeks. HR will notify you if there is an intention to take you off furlough leave.
Can I take another job whilst I have been furloughed?
Yes you may, however you will need to seek our permission as per your contract of employment if you intend to take another job. You must also notify us as to how many hours you will be working for this employer, and what you will be paid.
What is the new guidance on SSP, “shielding” and care responsibilities?
We cannot furlough someone who is in receipt of SSP, however we can furlough someone who is “shielding” (i.e. extremely vulnerable and had a letter from NHS) but only if they are unable to work from home and we would otherwise have to make them redundant. We may also furlough employees who are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus. For example, employees that need to look after children can be furloughed.
Fixed term contracts
If you are on a fixed term contract, you can be furloughed. Your contract can be renewed or extended during the furlough period without breaking the terms of the scheme. Please contact HR if you are on a fixed term contract so that we can issue an extension of your contract until the scheme ends.
Communicating with you
We will continue to email any significant announcements to you and updates will also be posted on the website under the ‘staff updates’ page.
These FAQ’s are correct as of 7 April 2020. Please see website for further updates.