Kate Brooks
Partner, Solicitor & Head of Employment/HR Services
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Date Published:02 Apr 2020 Last Updated:23 Oct 2021

What does it mean to be “Furloughed”?

Employment Law Advice

The Government, through the Chancellor, announced on Friday 20th of March 2020 a new scheme to help workers and employers through these uncertain times of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The scheme is called the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS), and under which a new employment status of “furlough” has been introduced. This means that if the economic impacts of the coronavirus results in the Company not having enough work to give to an employee for a period of time, the Company has the option of changing the employment status of that employee to, ‘furloughed’ as an alternative to making them redundant, laid-off or dismissed. Under JRS, the Company may get help from the government to pay 80% of the wages for that period (up to a maximum of £2,500 per month).

The Scheme will apply to all employees who are on the payroll who have been furloughed, where they would otherwise have been laid off or made redundant due to the current pandemic. This includes;

  • full-time employees
  • part-time employees
  • employees on agency contracts
  • employees on flexible or zero-hour contracts

To be eligible, the employee cannot carry out any work for the employer that furloughs them. This includes providing services or generating revenue.

For more information on furloughing and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme please click here to read our FAQs.

Our Partner and Head of Employment, Kate Brooks, is available anytime to provide advice on The Job Retention Scheme. If you would like to discuss your options with Kate please call our Employment Hotline on 01202 057754 or simply request a call back via email kate.brooks@ellisjones.co.uk.