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CJRS: Can Staff Be Furloughed To Look After Their Children?

Yes, but it's up to the employer ...


Posted by Roger Eddowes on 14/01/2021 @ 8:00AM

With lockdown taking effect across the United Kingdom, new guidance has been issued on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for those employees who have childcare issues ...

New CJRS guidance says that employees with childcare issues can be furloughed!

New CJRS guidance says that employees with childcare issues can be furloughed!

copyright: fizkes / 123rf

Whilst there hasn't been an actual policy change, this new guidance gives relief to those with caring responsibilities, letting them know they are eligible for inclusion under the furlough scheme.

Many unions have been calling for businesses to allow staff affected by school closures to be furloughed under CJRS. Now, the guidance explicitly states that those "caring for children who are at home as a result of school and childcare facilities closing" are now eligible to be furloughed.

"Obviously, it is up to the employer when choosing
which staff can be furloughed!"

Employees must agree to an updated employment contract, and the furloughed staff member is not allowed to engage in any business or income-generating activities on behalf of the employer whilst furloughed.

Although an employee can be furloughed, it is at the discretion of the employer. They do not have a right to insist on furlough simply because they have childcare issues.

HMRC says that any employee with childcare issues should ask their employer if they are going to furlough staff under CJRS, then ask to be included in the scheme while school and childcare facilities are unavailable to them.

Until next time ...

Business Godparent


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About Roger Eddowes ...


Roger trained at Edward Thomas Peirson & Sons in Market Harborough before working at Hartwell & Co, followed by Chancery, as a partner. He started Essendon Accounts and Tax with Helen Beaumont in 2014 as a general practitioner with a hands-on approach.

Roger loves getting his hands dirty, working with emerging, small-to-medium and family businesses to ensure they receive the best possible accountancy advice. Roger utilises an extensive network of business contacts to leverage the best guidance and practical solutions.