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Can holidays be taken during furlough? An Update.
Following the issue of their Direction to HMRC, the government has updated their guidance to employees regarding the furlough scheme. This update is correct as at 20th April 2020 but there may be further changes and updates.
The government has finally addressed the issue of furlough and holiday, although only in the guidance to employees.
It confirms that holiday (including bank holidays) can be taken whilst on furlough and should be paid at the normal rate of pay, not the 80% furlough rate. Where pay varies, this is calculated as an average of the pay over the last 52 working weeks.
It goes on to say that employers are still able to claim the first 80% of pay but employers will need to pay the balance themselves.
The guidance does not say that employers can force employees to take holiday (by giving notice twice as long as the period of holiday to be taken). This does not necessarily mean this is not allowed, simply that it has not been addressed one way or the other in the guidance. It does however confirm that employers can refuse to allow an employee to take holiday if there is a business need.
The guidance ends by say that the policy on holiday during furlough is to be kept under review. We cannot say how or when this guidance might be changed or updated.
The guidance to employees can be read HERE.