Government confirms employees can receive furlough pay for multiple jobs

The government has confirmed that employees who are furloughed in one job, but continue to work for another employer, can receive the furloughed payment while receiving their normal pay from a separate employer.

The government’s furlough Covid-19 (Coronavirus) job retention scheme allows furloughed employees to receive 80% of their salary, capped at £2,500.

The scheme was put in place 1 March 2020 and will cover a period of three months with the possibility of the scheme being extended if necessary.

David Israel, partner and employment law specialist at Royds Withy King, said: “The guidance confirms that employees who have been furloughed can work for other organisations, subject to any restrictions in their employment contracts, without adversely affecting their entitlement to 80% of pay while furloughed by their primary employer. This was not prohibited under previous guidance but has now been expressly confirmed.

“This provides a significant opportunity for furloughed staff either on a paid or unpaid basis to help businesses and organisations that need staff to survive the Coronavirus crisis or to replace staff who are off work because they or their family members are in vulnerable groups.

“We can see this confirmation from government being particularly helpful to the retail distribution, care, and agricultural sectors.”

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James Sage, head of the social care team at Royds Withy King, added: “Care providers have told us that they have lost 25% of their workforce due to Coronavirus and are in need volunteers and additional staff now. This guidance from government offers them a real lifeline.

“The challenge, however, will be creating awareness and directing furloughed staff from other industries to vacancies in the care sector. A national social media campaign would be needed to see significant gains, but care providers can also run their own local and regional campaigns.”