Following the national lockdown, the government has updated its guidance on which employees can be furloughed under the current scheme.

Under the extended Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), employees who were employed on 30 October 2020 can be either fully furloughed or flexibly furloughed from 1 November 2020, as long as they are paid by PAYE and the employer made a Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC between 20 March and 30 October 2020.

The guidance now states that employees who are unable to work (including working from home) or are working a reduced number of hours can be furloughed if they:

  • Are clinically extremely vulnerable, or at the highest risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) and following public health guidance; or
  • 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 follows a call by the TUC last week urging the government to offer furlough to all working parents affected by school closures (weekly LELR 703), pointing out that the CJRS allows bosses to furlough parents who cannot work due to a lack of childcare.

The TUC is now calling on ministers to urgently increase financial support for people who have to self-isolate to help bring down Britain’s mounting coronavirus (COVID-19) cases. This follows new polling by the TUC showing that a fifth of workers who have been forced to self-isolate, but who are unable to work at home, have received no sick pay (or wages) at all.

The poll also revealed that two fifths of workers said they would have to go into debt or go into arrears on their bills if their income dropped to £96 a week – the current level of statutory sick pay (SSP). This number rises to nearly half (48 per cent) for disabled workers.

The TUC is therefore calling on the government to:

  • Increase the rate of SSP from £95.85 to the real living wage of £320 a week;
  • Extend SSP to all workers so nobody misses out due to not meeting the pay threshold; and
  • Introduce a more extensive support package for household finances, including increasing the local authority hardship fund and providing support for those struggling with council tax and rent.


Access the government’s updated guidance here.

Read the TUC polling data in more detail here.