Government clarifies holiday position for furloughed staff

Government clarifies holiday position for furloughed staff

The government has confirmed staff on furlough continue to accrue holiday in line with their contract. This can be varied if agreed with the employee but not below the statutory 5.6 weeks. It has also been confirmed staff can take holiday while on furlough, although this would be paid at the employee’s normal rate, meaning employers will have to pay the top-up over the government grant amount.

S4labour chief product officer Richard Hartley said: “Employers can request and restrict when their employees take holiday meaning there will be a careful balance between short-term cash flow and the longer term issue of a burdening holiday accrual. The government has stated it is keeping its policy on holiday under review. S4labour will release the ability to put employees on holiday while furloughed and calculate the top-up amounts within the next week.”

S4labour is a PropelBeatThe Virus campaign member

Government clarifies holiday position for furloughed staff

S4labour – change in criteria for furlough scheme means some staff may no longer be eligible

S4labour, the online labour-scheduling management system from Catton Hospitality, has warned the change in criteria for employee eligibility on furlough pay means some staff may now miss out. The government has extended the cut-off to 19 March 2020. But S4labour chief product officer Richard Hartley told Propel the criteria has also changed. He said: “For an employee to be eligible they have to be part of a real time information submission notifying payment on or before 19 March.

For many that pay staff on a weekly and fortnightly basis this will be good news as it will mean many more employees will now be eligible. For those on a monthly or four-weekly payroll this could mean some employees we previously thought were eligible are now not as some starters towards the end of February will not have been part of a full pay submission.

There will be more that benefit than will lose out but the headline statement is misleading for employees and they should be contacting their employer to check their situation. The announcement has also changed the reference pay for salaried staff from 28 February to the last pay period prior to 19 March. Therefore any pay changes post 28 February can now be taken into consideration.”

S4labour is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member

Government clarifies holiday position for furloughed staff

Latest on the CJRS by Richard Hartley

Following a number of updates from the government on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) we have updated our advice and want to highlight a few of these points and explain what they mean for operators.


Following a meeting of the parliamentary select committee, existing guidelines have been updated and will be published shortly. The government is aiming to open the portal on 20 April. It will take four to six days following submission for the money to be paid. Employers will be able to submit claims up to 14 days in advance. Claims may be made before the monthly payroll is run in April, which is great news for operators.


Employees can be asked to complete training while on furlough as long as it doesn’t involve them providing services to, or generating revenue for or on behalf of their organisation. However, when they are doing this training they are entitled to National Minimum Wage (NMW)/National Living Wage (NLW). This means employers would be required to top up an employees’ pay, over what is being support by the CJRS, to ensure for the hours they spend training they are paid NMW/NLW.

This is also the case for apprenticeship programmes (although it is likely you will be topping up to the Apprentice Minimum Wage). It is also worth noting employees are still required to pay the levy and this is not covered by the CJRS.


We are in need of clarity from government on the treatment of holiday for furloughed workers.

UKHospitality has stated holiday does not have to accrue throughout the furlough period, if this is part of the furlough agreement with the employee. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) argues only contractual holiday (anything above the statutory 28 days) can be varied by agreement and the 28 days that employees are entitled to under Working Time Regulations continue to accrue.

 There is also an un-answered question as to whether employees can take holiday when furloughed. Current advice from CIPD is they can but they would be entitled to their full pay so the employer would need to top up to this level. This could be a useful way of employers reducing their liability albeit it presents a current cash challenge.

Calculating pay

For salaried staff this should be their salary on 28 February.

For variable pay staff this should be the higher of their average monthly earnings over the past 12 months or their pay from the comparable month last year. For those employees with less than a year’s service it should be the average monthly earnings while they have been employed with you.

The challenge for many is variable pay workers that are not paid monthly as you will need to interpret the above to give a reasonable assessment of which is the higher. At S4labour we have developed a furlough pay type that will do the calculation on behalf of our customers.

If anyone would like support in calculating furlough pay for their teams then please contact me at

Richard Hartley is chief product officer at S4Labour 

S4labour is a Propel BeatTheVirus campaign member