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Please explain something to me about furlough

(21 Posts)
FloreanFortescue Mon 27-Apr-20 20:53:54


A very dear friend's OH has had a conversation with my OH which has revealed that their employer is claiming 80% of their wages and "topping" up to 100% so they can work from home. They did say that they had been furloughed.

I'm my head from my own understanding of the financial support available, is this correct? I thought that the 80% was only to furlough staff, but are businesses able to claim their employees wages for them to continue working? I've tried to understand the info but it's going over my head. I'm very worried that my friend's OH will be in trouble/liable to pay back if this hasn't been done right and their situation isn't great.

(Yes yes, mind my own business etc. I will as soon as I've got my head around the rules!)

Thank you

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TeaAndBisquits Mon 27-Apr-20 20:58:41

His employer is treading very very dangerously.

Furlough can only be claimed for an employee who is not doing any work for the employer at all.

TeaAndBisquits Mon 27-Apr-20 20:59:40

People should also only be furloughed if there is no work available for them to do.

FloreanFortescue Mon 27-Apr-20 20:59:56

Thank you for your response. So if working "as normal" but from home, perhaps on reduced hours, can an employer get any help with wages?

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Pinkiii Mon 27-Apr-20 21:01:08

Nope not allowed.

I have been furloghed and I have been told by my employer to not respond to any emails or phone calls at all during this period. I’m free to talk to my co-workers but again they cannot ask me anything work related- e.g how to handle so and so.

My manager said they have been given very clear guidelines on what is expected of staff on furlough.

palacegirl77 Mon 27-Apr-20 21:02:02

No they cant. Furlough only if absolutely no work happening.

FloreanFortescue Mon 27-Apr-20 21:02:38

Bugger, I was hoping I'd be told I'd got it all wrong.

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ethelredonagoodday Mon 27-Apr-20 21:03:10

No, as other PPs have said, that is not furloughing.

IDefinitelyHaveFriends Mon 27-Apr-20 21:04:07

It’s immoral and illegal and they’d get into a world of trouble if caught, but I can see how the employer might think the risk of being caught is low.

Selfsettling3 Mon 27-Apr-20 21:07:40

I believe you can be furloughed and do training but not any actual work. The government is encouraging employers to top up the remaining 20%.

GCAcademic Mon 27-Apr-20 21:07:59

My brother's employer is doing the same. I bet the taxpayer is going to be paying the wage bill of thousands or tens of thousands of employees who are now working from home.

FloreanFortescue Mon 27-Apr-20 21:12:03

This is definitely a double edged sword, I'm half worried for my friends and half disgusted with the employer.

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PicsInRed Mon 27-Apr-20 21:19:58

Random audits of email accounts and login details will uncover most frauds.

People forget that tax investigators have more powers of entry and seizure than the police.

Good luck. They'll need it. 😉

FloreanFortescue Mon 27-Apr-20 21:22:56

@PicsInRed I think you're absolutely right here sad

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TerrapinStation Mon 27-Apr-20 21:29:49

If an employee is working as normal the employer doesn't need any help with wages, that's the point of the scheme.

I glad I don't know anyone doing this or I'd have a dilemma about whether to report them, the country is in so much financial trouble that it makes me mad that some employers are stealing from the taxpayer.

Not saying you would want to but HMRC do take anonymous reports wink

Pleasedontdrawonyoursister Mon 27-Apr-20 21:37:39

I am about to be furloughed and have had to sign a document to confirm I will not carry out any work on behalf of the business. I’m not even allowed to log on and read my emails, or take part in any zoom calls with colleagues just in case work comes up in conversation. What they are doing is illegal and I imagine the government will be hot on trying to find those taking advantage of this scheme, though I’m not sure how they’ll investigate it.

userxx Mon 27-Apr-20 21:37:40

@PicsInRed. In theory great, but they just haven't got the staff to police it. It's totally open to fraud and abuse but hmrc know this already. I'd like to think this employer is in the minority but I'm doubting it, this scheme is being viewed as a freebie for some.

KeepWashingThoseHands Mon 27-Apr-20 21:47:28

In theory the role has been furloughed as there is no work/you can't reasonably do it. Unless your place of work has closed it's a nuanced interpretation for many roles.

You cannot contact furloughed employees whilst they're off (since there's no work right?). As described it's being abused in some situations.

loveyouradvice Mon 27-Apr-20 22:51:51

one thing some employers are doing is furloughing their employees in rotation so each has three weeks off... sharing the load... not topping up salaries as not got the resources....

FunnyInjury Mon 27-Apr-20 23:05:14

There will be millions in fraudulent claims I suspect.
HMRC wont have the manpower to get to grips with much scrutiny either, checks will not be robust, and the rest of us will have to make the same sacrifices as the cheats to pay for it all afterwards 🤷‍♀️

FloreanFortescue Wed 29-Apr-20 22:24:46

@TerrapinStation it's tempting to report but I can't remember the name of the company and if it were "randomly" weedled out in conversation then it would be a bit obvious. It's clearly a drop in the ocean anyway hmm

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