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Furloughed Workers

What is a Furloughed Worker?

We are getting a lot of questions on what a Furloughed worker is, How do you designate employees as a Furloughed worker, Can a Director be a Furloughed worker and what does this mean for your business? We have the answers for you!

So what is a Furloughed Worker?

A Furloughed Worker is an employee that is no longer working for the company, but is still on your payroll. This means that whilst an employee is designated as Furlough they are not able to carry out any work for you even though they are on your payroll. This is to ensure that employees can keep their jobs, still get paid and there is not a spike in unemployment at this difficult time. Once an employee is designated as Furloughed you will be eligible for for the 80% Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We cannot stress enough that to be able to designate a worker as Furloughed, they must be on a payroll scheme. If you do not have a payroll scheme running you cannot designate the worker as Furloughed and claim the 80% grant for wages.

How do you designate an worker as Furloughed?

This can vary from business to business as it depends on your contract and current employment law. We are not experts in employment law but we do know this. If in your contract it states you can change the status of your employees, then all you will need to do is write to your employee and explain to them that you are designating them as a furloughed worker and that you will be claiming 80% of their wages from the Government so you can still pay them. You should always get them to sign and acknowledge this change.

In the most cases your contracts with your employees will not allow for this to happen and you will need to discuss this with your employees as they will need to agree to being designated as a Furloughed Worker. In this case you will need to write to them explaining the situation and that you would like to designate them as a Furloughed worker, so you can claim the 80% grant to cover their wages. Again you should always get them to sign to acknowledge and accept this change.

In these letters you need to ensure you include the following:

  • Date and time that the worker will be Furloughed from

  • How long you anticipate the worker to be Furloughed

  • Statement that the worker can be asked back to work at any time

  • How the worker can contact you whilst they are Furloughed

  • Area for the worker to sign

  • Details of workers pay (it is not yet clear whether the 80% is based on average earnings or contacted earnings)

Can a Director be a Furloughed Worker?

Yes. It has now been confirmed that Directors can be Furloughed and claim under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. This means that you will not be able to carry out any work that will generate income now or in the future. You are able to carry out your statutory duties required as a director. 

What does this mean for your business?

Well, it means that you will not have to let any of your employees go and you can still pay them so they can still live. We are anticipating the portal for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to go live at the end of this month, so we can start to put claims in as soon as it is open. As I am sure you are aware, this may take some time for us to implement and do for all of our clients, so please bear with us whilst we are sorting it.

In these times we need to stick together and your employees need you more than ever right now.

Please note that we are not employment law specialists and we have provided the above information to help our clients to get through these difficult times. You should check this information with an employment law specialist if you have any queries. Revis & Co Accountancy Services Ltd cannot be held liable for anything on this page.


1st Floor, 50 High Street

Cosham, Portsmouth PO6 3AG

Tel: 02392 640746


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