The Government has clarified issues relating to furlough and holiday pay in guidance published yesterday (13 May) by the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy.

While it was confirmed last month that furloughed workers could take annual leave without breaking furlough, many questions remained regarding whether an employer could require staff to take holiday, and the status of temporary and agency staff was also still unclear.

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What is great about the new guidance is that it addresses the employers legal obligations, in terms of workers who:

One of the big benefits of this new guidance is that it clarified that employers can claim through the job retention scheme for furloughed workers even while they were taking holiday. But they are required to make the difference up if the employee is entitled to higher holiday pay than their furlough pay, it said.

This clarification is really helpful for employers and would allow them to ensure furloughed workers did not return to work with excessive amounts of annual leave.

As always it should be noted that the guidance does not constitute legal advice. Employers and workers should always check individual contracts and if necessary seek independent legal advice.

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