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Am I able to be furloughed?

(16 Posts)
Moonflower12 Mon 04-May-20 10:01:14

I work for a small independent school in the Early years dept. We are paid by timesheet as opposed to salaried. So my wages vary month on month.

My employer is saying now that she believes I can't be furloughed- just cast adrift with no pay ( my words not hers).

Her reasoning for this being: We closed from March 23rd as per government directive. This meant I was not in work for only 8 days. We would have broken up on April 1st. I have to be furloughed for at least 3 weeks. And mine would have been the 8 days as I don't get paid for the holidays?

We would have returned on April 28th.

My understanding is that I should be furloughed from the 23rd until the schools return or the End of June depending on what happens. I should be paid 80% of my wages? Based on my March pay of this year or the equivalent month last year etc? Or a 12 month average? So essentially furloughed over the holidays but not paid?

The ACAS website says that anyone who has paid PAYE can be furloughed? Even those on zero hours contracts. I have been employed by her for 2 years.

Help please! I am tying myself in knots over this.

PeppaisaBitch Mon 04-May-20 10:25:39

I think you can. I work for a supply agency and received furlough pay over the holidays. I receive a weekly average based on previous months work.

Moonflower12 Mon 04-May-20 10:29:02

@PeppaisaBitch
Thank you! That was my understanding too. smile

Ariela Mon 04-May-20 10:51:16

Anyone PAYE on zero hours can be furloughed . Your furlough pay is based on past salary, and paid at 80%. It will not affect your employer, as it's paid by the government. So regardless of whether you'd earned or not due to the holidays you'd still get 80% on that basis, as it's based on what you earned in the period before, not what you would have earned had you been working..
Suggest you get your employer to look it up

Details all here:
www.gov.uk/guidance/work-out-80-of-your-employees-wages-to-claim-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Moonflower12 Mon 04-May-20 11:51:52

@Ariela
Thank you. I shall forward that link to her.

Ariela Mon 04-May-20 12:28:10

It won't cost her to furlough you.

Moonflower12 Mon 04-May-20 19:46:16

@Ariela
I know! Do t know why it's such a problem? 😳

NatashaAlianovaRomanova Mon 04-May-20 19:50:39

You definitely meet the eligibility for furlough OP however the decision to furlough employees is entirely at the employers discretion it's not a right or entitlement.

Moonflower12 Tue 05-May-20 18:14:21

@NatashaAlianovaRomanova
We have received a letter via email on March 23rd saying we were going to be furloughed? Why wouldn't you furlough staff if they are eligible? How are we supposed to pay bills etc without pay? (We have also been told we need to be available to return to work with 48 hours notice as I believe is standard)

StatisticalSense Tue 05-May-20 18:32:05

Technically you can, but at the same time she is right that it is unethical to be furloughing employees who wouldn't be doing any work (and therefore not being paid) in any case as furloughing is meant to replace earnings not be additional payment for times that you would never have been needed. If you'd have returned and worked for more than 3 consecutive weeks after the 29th and due to corona have not that is when she should be considering furloughing you.

NatashaAlianovaRomanova Tue 05-May-20 18:42:31

Statistical is right - you would be on unpaid holiday from 1-28th April anyway & furlough is to replace income lost with a minimum period of 3 weeks to be eligible.

You wouldn't be eligible as you can't be on holiday (paid or unpaid) while on furlough & you can't be furloughed for only 8 days.

You may be eligible to be furloughed once you return from holiday but again this a at the employers discretion & they are under no obligation to furlough any employees.

Moonflower12 Tue 05-May-20 21:09:19

@NatashaAlianovaRomanova
Can we not be furloughed from March 23rd till June at 80% of our wages ie 80of 8 days pay -80% of £0 for the holidays -ie £0 and then 80% of wages for the next 8 weeks till the end of June?
We are paid monthly normally.

If she doesn't furlough us, I'm very stuck. We can't take other work as it's in our contract not to and I can't claim UC as my partner earns £500pa too much! Eeeekkkk!

Moonflower12 Tue 05-May-20 21:10:12

@NatashaAlianovaRomanova

As the pp has been as a supply teacher.

NatashaAlianovaRomanova Tue 05-May-20 21:18:30

The calculations don't allow for that - your calculation would be based on your average earnings for the 19/20 year so say your average earning were £1,000 per month your furlough would be £800 per month.

It's the fact that you are essentially on annual leave, albeit unpaid, which makes you not eligible for furlough for April as you can't be on annual leave & furlough at the same time - your place of work isn't closed during this period due to COVID-19 as it would be closed then anyway.

You should be eligible to be furloughed once you return from annual leave but again this is up to your employer & they can just pay you off or say you'll be on unpaid leave.

LangClegsInSpace Tue 05-May-20 22:08:49

Yes you can be furloughed.

www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-job-retention-scheme-step-by-step-guide-for-employers

You probably count as a 'contingent worker'. There's some very detailed guidance here:

assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/877221/PPN02_20-Contingent-Workers-Impacted-by-Covid-19-2.pdf

It's primarily aimed at people working for central government but they encourage other public sector orgs to follow the same approach.

TL;DR: Anyone who can't work for a virus related reason and was PAYE on the right dates should get it and they should be paid 80% of what they were getting before their absence. The scheme is very deliberately as broad as possible.

The purpose of furlough is not primarily to replace lost earnings and this is made increasingly clear the further you dig down into the guidance.

The purpose is so businesses and other organisations don't lose all their employees and workers and have to hire replacements because they all fucked off to stack shelves.

The purpose is to keep the numbers of new sick pay and benefit claims to a minimum because they are an administrative nightmare.

The purpose is to enable as many people as possible to stay at home when they should so we can get to grips with this virus and stop the spread.

Moonflower12 Sat 09-May-20 20:01:12

An update for all you lovely people who gave me advice: She spoke to her accountant and I couldn't be furloughed for April but she has put me on Furlough from the date we would have returned to school. So not brilliant but ok.

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