Furlough and caring responsibilities

8th January 2021

Workers who have to stay at home for the lockdown to look after someone who is at risk, or children, are eligible for the furlough scheme.

In light of the third national lockdown, HMRC has updated its guidance to make clear that employers can furlough employees whose health has been affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) or any other conditions, including if they are unable to work from home, or working reduced hours, because they: 

  • are clinically extremely vulnerable, or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus and following public health guidance
  • 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

It has previously been unclear whether, for example, parents who have to stay at home to look after school-age children were eligible for furlough. It is now clear that they are eligible.

In December 2020, the Chancellor extended the furlough scheme to 30 April 2021.

Under the scheme, employees receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to £2,500 a month, paid for by the government. Employers have to pay the relevant NICs and workplace pensions.

More information about the scheme can be found in our detailed article.

Covid transition hub

Check out our Business after COVID-19: Transition Knowledge Hub for more guidance and advice on managing the pandemic.


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