Furlough payments: How long is furlough paid for?

Marco Green
April 4, 2020

This may require asking employees to agree to the 20% pay decrease that is permitted under the scheme.

Questions directed at Chancellor Rishi Sunak have been asked on social media under the hashtag #AskRishi.

For an individual to be eligible for the support, they would have had to start their new job by 28 February.

Furloughing is created to support firms that have been badly hit by coronavirus, and to prevent mass unemployment.

According to Telegraph Money, Treasury officials are looking into ways to help people who were caught between jobs in March, but no details have so far emerged.

Being furloughed means employees are kept on the payroll, even though they aren't working.

Under the scheme, employers can claim a grant covering 80% of the wages for a furloughed employee, subject to a cap of £2,500 a month.

In addition to employer NICs, the government will also pay the minimum auto-enrolment (AE) pension scheme contributions employers have to pay on staff wages for furloughed staff.

Which companies are furloughing workers?

British Airways is about to furlough 36,000 staff, or 80% of its workforce, following the likes of EasyJet, which has already furloughed just under half its employees.

Staff who have been placed on the scheme are classed as being on furlough. The scheme is open to all United Kingdom employers that had created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on 28 February 2020 and have a United Kingdom bank account.

Your employer will notify you if you have been put on furlough and will notify HMRC for you.

Any UK employer may apply to the scheme, including public authorities, businesses, charities and agencies.

Most public sector organisations will be providing essential public services or helping with the response to the outbreak in a different way, the government says.

"They were really sympathetic and offered to keep me on the books unpaid so I could have a job to go back to".

Section 159B, Funding of employers" statutory sick pay liabilities in relation to coronavirus, states that if the incapacity for work is related to coronavirus, the employer would "be entitled, except in prescribed circumstances, to recover some or all of that payment'. Staff on maternity, paternity, adoption or shared parental leave will continue to receive statutory pay from the government. Employers can then claim the 80% government subsidy to cover the wages. Crucially however for agents, "fees, commission and bonuses should not be included".

The Government has said it will cover both pension contributions and national insurance during the pandemic. Your employer could choose to fund the differences between this payment and your salary, but does not have to.

Can I work or volunteer if I've been furloughed?

This should be paid while the zero hours' worker is on sick leave or self-isolating, but the employee can be furloughed after this.

You can also continue working for any that still need you.

They should only work outside of the hours they would normally work with the job they have been furloughed from.

"We intend for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to run for at least three months from 1 March 2020, but will extend if necessary".

The hope is that by the time furlough ends, restrictions will have been lifted and businesses will be able to stand on their own two feet and start paying full salaries again.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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