03 April 2020
Posted by: Quest HR
Answers by Quest HR Services and Support
Q1. Can employees work for other employers whilst furloughed e.g. supermarkets, NHS?
Q2. Can employees intermittently be furloughed, punctuated by periods of paid holiday or working?
Q3. Can furloughed workers be rotated back into the business?
1. Furloughed employees cannot work for you during this period, including training if this is considered to be work. Their NI number will be supplied to HMRC, this is a unique identifier so unless their work was voluntary and unpaid, they are not able to work for your organisation. They still remain your employees. However, if an employee has more than one employer (multiple jobs), provided it is permitted within your employment contract, they can continue to work for one employer and be furloughed by another. If that employer subsequently decides to furlough the same rules apply and they can receive 80% of their salary from that employer. The 80% of salary or £2,500 cap applies to each job. The current guidance issued on the scheme appears silent on whether an employee can then subsequently take further paid employment whilst still being furloughed. No doubt further guidance will be issued but what is clear is that the scheme will be based on an employment by employment basis.
2. Further clarity is still required but theoretically each claim covers specific employees therefore you may be able to bring them back into work for the following period to undertake paid work. It should be noted that employees will continue to accrue annual leave whilst furloughed so you wouldn’t change an employee’s status from furlough due to holiday
3. As it is a separate claim for each period furloughed workers can be brought back into work on a gradual basis as required by the business recovery within the time parameters of the scheme (currently 3 months). Unless the government elect to extend the scheme, other action may need to be considered beyond the initial term.