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Ten top questions about ‘furlough’ and holidays answered by the NHBF

There’s been A LOT of information to absorb over the last few weeks. Here the NHBF unpicks the confusion for us.

What does ‘furlough’ mean?

Being furloughed means employees are kept on the payroll, even though they aren’t working for your salon or barbershop.  The minimum time employees can be furloughed for is 3 weeks.

Why does furloughing help my business?

If you furlough your employees the government will pay you 80% of their usual monthly wages before tax as of 28 February, up to a maximum of £2,500 per person per month.  The government will also pay for employer’s National Insurance Contributions and the minimum employer’s pension contributions.

How do I apply?

Through HMRC, although their online portal may not be open until the end of April 2020

Who can be furloughed?

Employees, whether they work full-time or part-time or if their hours vary.  They must have been on your payroll on or before 28 February 2020.

How do I furlough my employees?

If you’re an NHBF Member, you have access to ready-to-use legal letters for your employees.  These explain what furlough means and what happens next.  If you’re not an NHBF Member, you need to take legal advice about furloughing.

What can employees do while on furlough?

While they are on furlough, employees can’t earn money for your business and they can’t provide services to your business.  If they do either of these, you will have to pay them for the time they are working for you.

What about holidays?

Employees can’t be on holiday while they are furloughed.

You must cancel any holidays employees have booked during furlough.  They can take those days back another time once your salon/barbershop has re-opened.

What about Easter bank holidays?

There are two bank holidays coming up over Easter. If your employees ​normally take bank holidays out of their holiday allowance, you must cancel these two days and put the days back into their annual leave pot.  If your employees would normally have been working on a bank holiday, these two days will ​remain in their holiday allowance.

Do holidays build up while employees are furloughed?

Yes.  When they return to work, they will be entitled to the holiday they built up while they were furloughed.

What if everyone wants to take holidays at the same time?

The government has said that up to 4 weeks of holidays from this year can be spread over the next two years.

This is only a short summary.  For more details about the information given above and the coronavirus job retention scheme see the NHBF coronavirus hub: www.nhbf.co.uk/coronavirus

Follow the National Hair & Beauty Federation on social @nhbfsocial.