Furlough Leave – Frequently Asked Questions

Click the questions below to reveal our guidance on the most popular enquiries we’ve received about furlough leave.

Watch our latest video explaining more about the Furlough Leave scheme.

  • How Do I Know If I Qualify for Furlough?

    The scheme is open to all UK employers that had a PAYE scheme in place on 19 March 2020. Any organisation with employees can apply; however, the government does not expect public sector employers to use it as long as central government continues funding wage costs in the normal way. With agency employees, the scheme is only available for agency employees who are not working.To be eligible, you must have been on the payroll on 19 March 2020.  If you were hired later than this date then you will not be eligible. Anybody who was on the payroll on 19 March and has since been made redundant can be rehired and put on the scheme.

  • What Pay Am I Entitled To? Does My Employer Have to Top up My Pay so I Still Receive 100%?

    Employers can only reclaim up to 80% of wage costs up to a cap of £2,500 per month. An employer may use their discretion to top this up so that you still receive your full salary however they are under no obligation to do this.
  • If I Have Been Furloughed, Am I Still Employed or Does This Mean I Have Been Made Redundant?

    There is no direct link between furlough and redundancy – if you have agreed to be furloughed then you will still be an employee and will maintain continuity of service. However, this is not to say that once the furlough period has ended, or even during, the employer may decide to follow a redundancy process in order to cut staff costs. However, given the government will pay up to 80% of wage costs up to a cap of £2,500 per month, it could be argued that there is no immediate need for redundancies – however this will ultimately come down to the overall needs of each employer.
  • Do I Continue to Accrue Holidays While Furloughed?

    Yes – whilst furloughed you will still continue to accrue holidays and once the furlough period has ended you should be allowed to take these holidays in the normal way. Depending on the circumstances, your employer should allow you to carry over more holidays than normal into the next two holiday years if you were unable to take them as a result of Covid-19. There is guidance to suggest you can take holidays while on furlough – and any holiday taken while on furlough must be on full pay. However, as the guidance on this is still not perfectly clear, most employers are allowing employees to take holidays in the normal way once furlough has ended and/ or allowing some carry over.

  • Can I Take Annual Leave Whilst on Furlough?

    There is guidance to suggest you can take holidays while on furlough – and any holiday taken while on furlough must be on full pay. However, as the guidance on this is still not perfectly clear, most employers are allowing employees to take holidays in the normal way once furlough has ended and/ or allowing some carry over.

  • Can I Carry out Any Work for My Current Employer While on Furlough?

    No – you must not be working for your employer at all – if you carry out any work you will not be eligible.  However, you would be able to undertake training and do volunteer work, provided you do not provide services to or make any money for your employer.
  • I’ve Got a Zero Hours Contract – Am I Entitled to Be Furloughed?

    You would be entitled to be furloughed, subject to meeting the criteria set out above. However, your employer will be under no obligation to furlough you and may instead decide to no longer use your services.

If you have any further questions regarding Furlough Leave, please contact Charlie Wood, Solicitor, on 0161 475 7673 or email [email protected].

Last updated: 5th June 2020