Furlough Explained: What You Need To Know

To many of us, ‘furlough’ is a new term that we’ve only recently begun to hear! But what does it mean, and how does being furloughed by your employer affect day-to-day life? Read on to find out.

If you’ve been placed on furlough, or simply want to know more about the government’s new scheme, here’s the essential need-to-know’s.

What does furlough mean?

In basic terms, to be placed on furlough does not mean you have been made redundant. Being furloughed by your employer means that the government will pay 80% (up to £2,500) of an employee’s wages who can’t work due to coronavirus. This helps employers who aren’t able to pay staff, but don’t want to make them redundant. The government are stepping in to cover the majority of those workers’ wages, meaning they can stay on the payroll instead of being laid off.

How long will it last for?

The government’s furlough scheme will last for a minimum of three months. It began in March 2020.

Which companies are eligible?

All employers who started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before February 28 2020 are eligible. Any UK employer can apply for the furlough scheme, no matter their sector. Huge employers such as easyJet and even Premier League football clubs have furloughed some staff.

When will furloughed workers be paid?

Your wages will be paid via a grant to your employer. Then, you should be paid 80% of your usual wage on your normal payday. It’s worth noting that although the new furlough scheme can be backdated to March 1st, the portal that employers will use to register furloughed staff will not be active until the end of April.

Does it affect annual leave?

If you haven’t taken all of your statutory annual leave entitlement due to being furloughed, the government have announced you’ll be able to carry over up to four weeks of unused leave over into the next two years.

Can I work elsewhere during furlough?

You can continue working one job if you have been furloughed on another, but you are forbidden from carrying out any work for the employer who has furloughed you. If you only have one job and have been furloughed, but want to take on another role during furlough, it’s best to speak to your employer for permission.

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