CORONAVIRUS has forced companies across the UK to shut down leaving millions placed on furlough – but can you still work at the same time?
Under furlough, workers who can’t work due to firms being closed or having to look after children are paid 80 per cent of their earnings up to £2,500 a month.
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These scheme went live on April 20 but pay is backdated to March 1 and the government has promised support will continue until at least October – although the amount paid by the government is expected to be cut from August.
An announcement on the future of the scheme is due later today (May 29).
But for those who want more security, can you find another job while on furlough? Here’s what you need to know.
Can I still work for my employer while I’m on furlough?
If your employer chooses to place you on furlough, you will need to remain on furlough for a minimum of three consecutive weeks.
While on furlough, you can’t currently work for the employer that has furloughed you.
This means your employer also cannot ask you to do work for another linked or associated company.
But the government is thought to be looking at this, and may allow furloughed workers to work for the same company part-time in future with a smaller subsidy from the public purse.
An announcement on the future of furlough is expected to be made by chancellor Rishi Sunak today.
In the meantime, the government says you can undertake training required by your employer, subject to public health guidance.
Workers must be paid as standard to do required training, so if this ends up costing more than the 80 per cent of their wage that will be subsidised by the government, employers need to foot the bill for the rest.
Your employer can still make you redundant while you’re on furlough or afterwards.
If you’re struggling, you may also be eligible for support through the welfare system including Universal Credit.
Can I work for someone else while on furlough?
Technically you can get another job while on furlough – as long as your boss doesn’t mind.
That’s because being on furlough means you are still employed under contract by your employer, which means you could be in breach of contract if you do accept a new role.
But if you do want to take on some temporary work, you should contact your HR department or boss to see if the terms of your contract can be re-negotiated to allow you to do so.
Some of the millions of Britons on furlough have been asked to take a second job picking fruit and vegetables.
Thousands have already signed up to the Feed the Nation scheme, many of them with no previous experience of agricultural work.
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They are in highest demand in key farming regions including Kent, Worcestershire and the East of Scotland.
But fruit-picking is just one of many jobs where workers are urgently needed to keep the country ticking over so the rest of us can stay at home and heed the health advice.
Packers, postal workers, delivery drivers, shelf-stackers and warehouse staff are among the most in-demand.