• Date

    08 Jan 2021
  • Category

    Tax, Employer Solutions, Payroll

Can staff be furloughed to look after children?

As we enter into a new year and a new lockdown, many businesses continue to look to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for support in paying the wages of staff who are unable to work.

For the first time since last summer, schools and childcare facilities are closed to varying degrees across all of the devolved nations, with many parents now having to juggle work and childcare once more. As a result, many employers are now looking to furlough parents who are unable to work. 

Fortunately, the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme guidance explicitly states that employees who have caring responsibilities resulting from Coronavirus such as caring for children who are at home due to school and childcare facilities closing, can be furloughed assuming they meet all the other eligibility criteria. This can be on a fully or flexibly furloughed basis and does not reflect a change in the scheme rules, simply an aspect that has become relevant once more.

It is worth remembering that it remains the employer’s choice to furlough and employees have no entitlement to insist upon it.

As a reminder, an employee can be furloughed even if they have not been previously as long as they were employed and on payroll on 30 October 2020 and a PAYE RTI submission made to HMRC between 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020.

If you require any further advice and guidance on the Coronavirus Job Support Scheme, please speak with your usual Azets contact or a member of our Employment tax team at Azets who are happy to help.

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