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Working for another employer whilst furloughed...

Good afternoon, 

I have just been asked if an employee can work elsewhere in order to top up his pay to 100% whilst being furloughed. The only information I can find is that the employee should not work for his employer during this period but cannot find anything that says he cannot work for another employer. I suppose potentially the employee could earn quite a lot of money if he were able to work full time for another employer as well as receiving 80% of his normal pay?

I would appreciate your thoughts.

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  • It's an interesting conundrum - especially if there were off to work in some sort of NHS/care capacity which we might instinctively feel would be different to becoming an Hermes or Ocado driver. However, I wonder if the concept is that you would otherwise be laid off/redundant then they also need to be available to come back off the furlough and back to work if your business circumstances change or allow which feels akin to garden leave rather than paid not to work.
  • I am interested to hear thoughts on this too, whilst the guidance says they cannot work for the employer furloughing them or in the case of employees who already have 2 employees - they can be furloughed by both potentially, I’m struggling for a definitive answer as to whether a staff member who is now furloughed by my organisation can start working at a supermarket to top up their pay
  • Hi,

    I have a similar question. An employee works for us 3 days per week, and has another job 2dpw. The 2dpw job will be furloughing her, she’s now worried that she will have to stop our work. I can’t find anything saying yes or no. I assume that as they were existing jobs (rather than new ones to provide top-up salaries) she can continue with us, but I can’t say yes for sure.
  • In reply to Teresa:

    I have found this which may help with your query...... If your employee has more than one job
    If your employee has more than one employer they can be furloughed for each job. Each job is separate, and the cap applies to each employer individually.
    This is from this link:
    www.gov.uk/.../claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

    i believe the ruling is that the employee must not work for the same employer that has furloughed them.......

  • Hi

    I found this on the Poeple Management website -

    Can staff still work for me or another employer while furloughed?
    To qualify for the scheme, staff cannot continue to work for the employer while furloughed. The grants also do not cover the wages of employees who work reduced hours due to the virus.

    On the question of whether staff can work for another employer, Ranjit Dhindsa, partner and head of employment, pensions, immigration and compliance at Fieldfisher, explained that while workers are furloughed an employment relationship still exists, so staff should not be working for anyone else during those contracted hours.

    However, Dhindsa said staff may be able to work for another employer as long as it does not breach these contractual obligations.

    Update.....just found this on IBB Solicitors (UK) website -

    : Can furloughed employees work for another employer.
    A: No, furloughed employees can do volunteering or training, providing it does not generate any money for their employer. If employees are required to complete online training courses while furloughed then they must be paid at least the National Living Wage/National Minimum Wage for the time spent training, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will subject the grant.


    Lisa

  • The government's guidelines on reclaiming say that if a person has more than one job, repayment calculations should be carried out separately by each employer. This would imply that having 2 jobs is entirely possible.....
  • In reply to Ray:

    Hi Ray

    Yes I have read that. The Gov website also states

    If you currently have more than one employer
    You can be put on furlough by one employer and continue to work for another, if it is permitted within your employment contract.

    I guess it means if a person ALREADY has more than one job, then they can continue to work for one whilst being furloughed on the other. I think if you have only one job, and your employer puts you on furlough, you can't then work for another employer whilst on furlough for them claiming 80%.

    Lisa
  • In reply to Lisa:

    Lisa - I just refereed to the same update from IBB, although they say " no" they still say they cannot generate money for their employer, is this referring to their current employer or potential new one? Im guessing being furloughed and earning other money is in a weird way.. benefit fraud?
  • In reply to Melissa Wilson:

    Yes I know! It is clear on the Gov website that a worker cannot earn money for that same employer whilst furloughed. It also says if that person has more than one job, they can continue to work for one employer whilst furloughed with the other and also they can be furloughed by both employers.

     Never has 'every day's a school day' been more appropriate than right now 

    Lisa

  • In reply to Lisa:

    I don't think I have ever had my brain fried so much in a short space of time. All of the working for another employer info refers to jobs they may already have had at the time of Furlough not for those that want to earn some extra money whilst waiting to go back to work...
  • In reply to Melissa Wilson:

    I know and I Googled the hell out of it!!!
    I think, though, as they are still employed by the company that furloughs them, they couldn't or shouldn't work for someone else????
  • In reply to Lisa:

    Its been a complete minefield... Its a HUGE grey area that people don't appear to be able to answer. You cannot work for the employer that has furloughed you but if you already had another job at the time of Furlough you can continue to work for second employer.. On the flip side to then get a second job produces more questions than answers. Is there a potential it may have an impact on the employer claiming Furlough? Will it cause tax implications for both employer and employee... the list goes on.... Plus if they were to get another job it cant be in the working hours of the other employer( in the event they are needed to return..) I could go on...
  • In reply to Melissa Wilson:

    Definitely. I know we are in unchartered waters but surprised this hasn't been clarified yet on the Gov.uk website. I still think the answer should be no. And morally, is it 'fair' that someone who is getting 80% of their wage (and some companies are topping up the other 20%) to sit at home and self-isolate can then get another full time job (if critical works) so earning 2 full time wages when many others have been let go from their jobs and are struggling to get by on nothing or next to nothing?

    I have sent my question to Sky news for the specialists.  I will let you know if I get a response

  • In reply to Lisa:

    Completely agreed - This is my " argument". I agree that only having 80% is not ideal but people are spending less if nothing on fuel and less overall. Personally if they are under the Furlough scheme this is the same as claiming a government benefit so should be treated no differently. I keep getting refereed back to where it says about two employers but all of the advice refers to if they already the second employer at time of Furlough not after.. Its a headache.. Would love to hear if you get a response!!
  • In reply to Melissa Wilson:

    I will definitely let you know if I find anything out. Annoying me now.......:)