Can employees who are certified as sick be made furloughed workers?
Further details will be made available by the government soon.
Can employees who are off on any other leave e.g. Sick leave, maternity leave, paternity leave be made furloughed workers?
Further details will be made available by the government soon. It is likely there will be specific rules for employees on maternity leave and receiving statutory maternity pay.
What options do we have to give our employees alongside the option to become a furloughed worker e.g. statutory redundancy?
The idea behind the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is for businesses to retain employees during the period in order that they can bring them back when the business situation improves (subject to the current scheme duration)
Can employees work for other employers whilst furloughed e.g. supermarkets, NHS?
Furloughed employees cannot work for you during this period and their NI number will be supplied to HMRC. This is a unique identifier so unless their work was voluntary and unpaid, we would not expect them to be able to work for other organisations. They still remain your employees
Will employees continue to accrue annual leave while furloughed?
Will PAYE continue to be deducted in the normal way?
We are still awaiting the details, but the scheme is not intended to make employees financially better off so would expect PAYE to be deducted
Can Trade Unions negotiate on behalf of all employees in a collective agreement situation?
Yes, this is possible where such an agreement is in place
Can we deduct pension, and other voluntary deductions from furloughed workers pay?
We are still awaiting further guidance of exactly how the scheme will work in this regard
Can employees intermittently be furloughed, punctuated by periods of paid holiday or working?
We are still awaiting further guidance but would doubt whether the scheme can be switched on and off regularly. Employees will continue to accrue annual leave whilst furloughed
Will other periods of authorised absence be suspended during this time eg maternity leave?
Furlough is a temporary lay off and in this case the government have undertaken to pay up to 80% of salary as a mechanism to prevent mass unemployment where an employee may be expected to resume work again in the future. It will not replace other schemes such as Maternity leave which will remain in place. Most of the SMP can be recovered
Do I need to top up the other 20%?
You can fund the difference if you wish but there is no obligation to do this under the scheme
Who is Covered by the scheme?
All that has been announced so far is that it covers furloughed employees. Therefore, it does not cover:
self-employed individuals whether working as a sole trader or through a partnership or LLP.
Workers who are working on personal contracts but do not satisfy the conditions to be an employee (those with no holiday or sick pay entitlement)
These people will have to rely on the benefits system to assist them during this period.