Updated Government Guidance on Furlough

Published on: 08/04/2020


This weekend the government provided updated guidance on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. The guidance covers many different points and can be viewed in full here. However, some of the key points to take away from this guidance are as follows:

  • It has been clarified that those who have been furloughed can go and work for another employer provided their employment contract allows for this;
  • It has been clarified that employees can be furloughed multiple times provided on each occasion they are furloughed for at least 3 weeks;
  • Further guidance has also been provided on the specific types of worker including company directors who, the guidance clarifies, can be furloughed.
  • What should be included in the 80% pay calculation has been clarified. Wages, compulsory commission payments, payments for past overtime and fees should be included.  However, discretionary bonuses (including tips), commission payments and non-cash payments are excluded.
  • The guidance wording has been altered to say that anyone who has ‘stopped working for you on or after 28th February’ can be re-employed and put on Furlough. This differs from previous wording that only talked about those who had been made redundant being reemployed.  It is not clear exactly who this broader wording is intended to cover and we presume it remains subject to the employer’s discretion as usual.
  • The guidance now states that employers must notify employees in writing that they have been furloughed and must keep this written record for five years.

These are just some of the key points and there are many more points to take from the guidance.  However, there are also many areas that remain unclear such as whether employees can take annual leave whilst on furlough.

Please get in contact with our Employment Team if you’d like more information on the government guidance or any other issues affecting your business in these difficult times.

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This information is for guidance purposes only and should not be regarded as a substitute for taking professional and legal advice. Please refer to the full General Notices on our website.