The furlough scheme has been extended until 30 April 2021 (though there have been calls for it to be extended further) and so we can expect several updates to the guidance before the scheme ends.
The Government has published updated guidance for employers which can be found here.
With schools closed, the guidance states that if employees are unable to work, including from home or working reduced hours because they “have caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus (COVID-19), such as caring for children who are at home as a result of school and childcare facilities closing, or caring for a vulnerable individual in their household.”
This does not mean that employers have to put employees with caring responsibilities on furlough leave but there is that option. If employees are struggling to juggle childcare, home schooling and work, then it is best to speak to those employees. Much will depend on the nature of the work and individual circumstances, but flexible furlough could be a good compromise for employers and employees.
If you are looking for advice on the furlough scheme, we’re here to help – get in touch.