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Holidays taken during flexible furlough period

Can someone please give me a steer on this?

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Employer client had an employee on furlough from 23/3/20 until 3/7/20. Employer brought employee back to work under flexible furlough arrangement from 4/7/20 until 14/7/20. From 15/7/20 employee takes annual leave, for five weeks and will return work or furlough, depending on the availability of work for her to do, in August.

HMRC guidance says: Employees can take holiday while on furlough. If an employee is flexibly furloughed then any hours taken as holiday during the claim period should be counted as furloughed hours rather than working hours.

From this I understand that in the employer’s claim period 1 July to 31 July, the holiday taken during the claim period is counted as furlough and the claim made on the worked hours v usual hours basis.

However in the next sentence the guidance says: Employees should not be placed on furlough for a period simply because they are on holiday for that period.

My questions are:

After working for 11 days, then taking holiday, is she still considered to be on furlough or has she been placed on furlough ‘simply because they are on holiday for that period’?

And, can the employee be flexibly furloughed when she returns?

Many thanks in advance.

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By Paul Crowley
03rd Aug 2020 17:21

My questions are:

After working for 11 days, then taking holiday, is she still considered to be on furlough or has she been placed on furlough ‘simply because they are on holiday for that period’?

Not furloughed, on holiday, is as it appears to be. BUT how many unworked hours in the 11 days working? If none then for practical purposes she was back full time.

And, can the employee be flexibly furloughed when she returns?
This suggests that you came to the same conclusion

This really does look like employer has decided that holiday is to be completely used up while the state is still paying

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RLI
By lionofludesch
03rd Aug 2020 17:50

I have to say that I thought the interaction of furlough and holiday pay was particularly poorly thought out. Easter came three weeks into lock-down and it was obvious to anyone working at the sharp end that employers were only paying 20% of the cost of holiday pay.

To be fair, employers probably need help as much as anybody so I don't begrudge them a few quid, but it's a bit offside to be coming along four months later saying "Oh no, we didn't mean that." Well, if you didn't mean that, why didn't you say so at the time ?

Rushed legislation, I agree, but there's been a lot of time for reflection in the interim.

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