Furlough is a word we’ve all become familiar with since March last year. Many members of the public have found themselves on furlough leave, stuck at home with only a fraction of their wages.
As we have been plunged into yet another lockdown, many parents have cried out for help as they are told their children cannot return to school AND they must work from home if possible.
The first lockdown was hard, with months of home-schooling in the heat and kids over-excited that they didn’t have to sit their summer exams. It’s fair to say that parents are expecting the worst this time round.
Many workers are concerned as to how they are going to continue working from when they have young children to care for without sticking them in front of an iPad day-in-day-out.
The question on many parent’s minds is…
‘Can a person be furloughed for childcare if children are off school?’
The government extended the furlough scheme until April 30, 2021.
Under the furlough scheme, formally the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, an eligible person’s employer can claim 80 percent of your usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
“All employers with a UK, Isle of Man or Channel Island bank account and a UK PAYE scheme can claim the grant,” government guidance states.
“They do not need to have previously claimed for you before 30 October 2020.”
It has been confirmed that if a person cannot work because of childcare, their employer can apply to put them on furlough, as long as the caring responsibilities are because of furlough,
However, this is not compulsory and is down to the employer.
“It may be possible for you to work from home instead of going on furlough,” states the charity Working Families.
“If it is, then you should discuss with your employer if you can do so.
“If you are caring for children because your normal childcare or school is closed because of cover, you may not be able to work from home due to your children’s needs and can ask to be furloughed.
“If you can’t work from home because of your role, or if you are unable to work (including from home) due to your caring responsibilities because of coronavirus, you can be furloughed for this reason.”