HMRC’s guidance on which employees can be placed on furlough using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been updated. The scheme will continue until at least 30 April 2021.
The updated guidance includes new information about employees who are unable to work because they have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19). This guidance confirms that employers may furlough employees with caring responsibilities arising from COVID-19 who are unable to work or are working reduced hours.
The guidance for employers' states that your employee is eligible for the grant and can be furloughed, if they are unable to work, including from home or working reduced hours because they:
- are clinically extremely vulnerable, or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus and following public health guidance
- have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19), such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school and childcare facilities closing, or caring for a vulnerable individual in their household
This guidance covers those who are unable to work due to childcare responsibilities following the closure of most schools across the UK. Whilst this guidance provides some useful clarification it should be noted that employers are still not compelled to furlough those that qualify.
Employees who are being furloughed for the above reasons can be fully or flexibly furloughed. If they are flexibly furloughed, they are not allowed to work any hours that are recorded as being on furlough. Please do not hesitate to call if you need any assistance with any of your furlough-related obligations.