Support for furloughed staff
Job retention scheme
The coronavirus Job Retention scheme is designed to help employers whose operations have been severely affected by coronavirus (COVID-19). Being ‘furloughed’ means staff can remain on your payroll but not undertake any formal work for you. You can apply for a grant that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, within certain limits – check the guidance.
If you do have to furlough your employees, there are other things they can consider which could develop their skills and experience and may benefit your business in the longer term.
There is a wide range of different training opportunities online that your employees can take advantage of at their own pace and to fit around other commitments.
The Department for Education has launched an online collection of job-related courses, teaching numeracy, coding and internet skills. Employees can improve their knowledge, build their confidence and support their mental health by learning something new.
The National Careers Service is also offering free, impartial careers advice and guidance to all employees who have been furloughed. They can support them with career goals and suggest ways they can develop skills while they aren’t working.
There are also volunteering opportunities available right now that people can get involved in, supporting critical local services, charities and other stakeholder organisations.
Undertaking other work
If their employment contract with you allows, some furloughed employees might want to undertake other work until they can return to their usual job. The new skills and experiences they acquire may even bring benefits back to your business. They may be able to fill vacancies in critical sectors, such as agriculture and health and social care, to support the ongoing effort to keep Britain running. If so, they can find further advice and vacancies at jobhelp.dwp.gov.uk