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Hi, im Shnek64! Why haven't I been furloughed?

Shnek64Shnek64 Member Posts: 9 Listener
edited January 11 in Employment and careers
Wondering why my work won't furlough me as this is my 2nd stint of shielding. 1st time I was on full pay as am entitled to 6 months full pay in a calendar year but getting close to running out. The choice I have been given is ssp or working from home which means laptop work which is out of my comfort zone. I am a process tech in the agro-chem industry.

Replies

  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 10
    HI and welcome,

    When shielding SSP is correct and not furlough. The Government have advised people to work from home where possible and your employer has said you can do this. If you choose not to do this then it will be SSP. No one is entitled to furlough, it's entirely the decision of your employer.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • Shnek64Shnek64 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Correct, but why would my company deny me this if they want to keep me on the books rather than only receiving ssp ?
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    You have been asked to work from home, which is what the Government have advised even for those that are shielding. Furlough is really only susposed to be used when there is no work for you. You can't force your employer to furlough you. See link.

    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Universal Credit may also be an option to top up your income. Although claiming this will end any tax credits you may already be claiming. If you have savings/capital of more than £16,000 you're excluded from claiming. If you live with a partner you claim as a couple.


    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • Shnek64Shnek64 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    I do not work in an office so procedures and assessments are not my skillset. I cannot make chemicals in my back garden so this is not my type of work. I have been told my workload will be checked every week and if deemed not enough will get put down as sick for the hours I have not put in ?
  • Shnek64Shnek64 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    I was also told by a manager that I cannot be furloughed as I am shielding. The Gov have told me to stay indoors so surely it is their responsibility ? I feel I am being victimised because of my illness. I could be getting ssp while contractors are on 80% of their wage.
  • poppy123456poppy123456 Member Posts: 22,218 Disability Gamechanger
    Those are the rules. Unfortunately, you can't force any employer to furlough you. Those that are shielding are really only entitled to SSP. Although if an employer chooses to furlough you, they can.
    Proud winner of the 2019 empowering others award. This award was given for supporting disabled people and their families for the benefit advice I have given to members here on the community.
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,404

    Scope community team

    edited January 10
    Hi @Shnek64 and thanks for your post.

    I completely understand your frustration here.  To be disadvantaged on the basis of having an impairment seems unfair.  Taken from @poppy123456 's government guidance link, the official line is that you may be furloughed when shielding:
    If you cannot make alternative arrangements, your employer may be able to furlough you under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been extended until the end of April 2021. You should have a conversation with your employer about whether this is possible.
    Could you speak about this further with your HR department?  For more information about your rights see Scope's Employee rights and coronavirus webpage.

    Just to add - I've moved this post over to our Employment discussion board and slightly tweaked the title to help others who might be having the same issue.  
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  • Shnek64Shnek64 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Thanks for your post Cher. Going to phone HR tomorrow 🤞
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,404

    Scope community team

    @Shnek64 Fab.  Good luck and please keep us updated with how you get on.
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  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,129

    Scope community team

    edited January 11
    Yes, please do let us know how you get on today @Shnek64 :) 
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  • ccurtis2106ccurtis2106 Member Posts: 1 Listener
    Hi, I absolutely feel your frustration. 
    I am on the shielding list too. 
    During the first lockdown I was able to work from home. This time around they won’t allow that & have placed me on SSP. 
    I work as a customer service assistant in student accommodation. Doing my job from home is no problem and clearly it was ok the first time. 
    I asked why & HR were blunt with simply stating company said no. I asked why not furlough me & they said, that’s the employers discretion. 
    I have taken this to my local MSP and he is currently fighting this for me & has been in touch with the company. They are due to give a reply tomorrow (19.01.21) my MSP has informed them they are breaking the law by allowing me to work from home first time but not second. Above everything else it is morally wrong to have someone with a condition or disability to suffer more. But this all boils down to the Government having it wrong. If they deem someone clinically extremely vulnerable & request them to stay at home then if they can’t work from home it should be automatic furlough. Not giving the employer the choice of sick pay at £94 a week or furlough. It’s all wrong & it needs addressed. 
  • Cher_ScopeCher_Scope Posts: 3,404

    Scope community team

    Hi @ccurtis2106 and welcome to our community.  I'm sorry to hear you are experiencing something similar and I entirely understand how frustrated you must be feeling :(

    I hope you have some luck with your MSP and please keep us updated with how it goes tomorrow.  
    Online Community Co-ordinator

    Want to tell us about your experience on the online community?  Talk to our chatbot and let us know.
  • Bonnie1961Bonnie1961 Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Hi I have just received sick pay for January but I was on furlough before. I’m shielding and what I don’t understand is why they  furloughed me before but not now. I can’t work from home because I work in a school kitchen. 
  • Shnek64Shnek64 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Hi, just an update on my situation. 1st of all, sorry to c so many people in bad situations. My Company do not want to furlough so they have resolved to pay me full pay and extend my 6 months full sick pay. 
  • Bonnie1961Bonnie1961 Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Thats something I guess. 
    I’ve just been told that it costs companies money to put us on furlough ! 
    Don’t know that I believe that. 
    Apart from the 20 o/o top up which is voluntary.
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 3,894 Disability Gamechanger
    Thats good they are doing that some company's csnt get furlough or don't apply my daughter was in same position 
  • Shnek64Shnek64 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Surely if they don't take up the govs offer of furlough they must give you your pay. Govt making me stay at home so they are willing to pay. If the company turn tht offer down to only offer ssp my question is why ? Do they hope you are going to leave ? Doesn't make sense to not furlough after investing in your training.
  • Bonnie1961Bonnie1961 Member Posts: 11 Listener
    My thoughts exactly!! They paid me ssp. That’s less than half my wages. 
    I’m not sick and I’m willing to work. 
    But because I’ve been told to shield I can’t work.
    seems very unfair to me. X

  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 3,894 Disability Gamechanger
    Ah that's a different matter you cant have furlough if your shielding only sick pay  i have two clients shrilding and they can only get sick pay 
  • Bonnie1961Bonnie1961 Member Posts: 11 Listener
    I’m confused because they have always paid me furlough. I have been shielding on and off for a year, only now they decide to give me ssp 🤦‍♀️
  • Tori_ScopeTori_Scope Posts: 4,129

    Scope community team

    I believe you can be furloughed if you're shielding @Bonnie1961 @lisathomas50

    ACAS have said that: 
    If someone who needs to shield cannot work from home, the employer should talk to the person about:
    • taking up an alternative role that's suitable and safe to do from home
    • not returning to work until it's safe to do so
    If they cannot work, the employer may be able to put the person on furlough (temporary leave).

    Otherwise, they may be entitled to one of the following:
    This additional information from the CIPD is from the 6th January:
    Employers must allow Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) employees to continue to work from home where possible, in keeping with the latest government advice.

    Even when restrictions are eased employees may refuse to come into work if they reasonably believe there is a serious and imminent danger or the workplace is not COVID-secure. If employers have carried out risk assessments and made the workplace as COVID-secure as possible, then anyone who still refuses to return to work may be unreasonable. In this situation, there are a variety of options to consider, including unpaid leave or furlough.

    Previously, those who were shielding (but otherwise able to work) could get SSP if employers chose not to furlough them and home working was not possible. If people are well and can continue to work remotely, they should be paid as normal and they are not entitled to SSP. If a national or regional lockdown occurs (such as in Tier 4), it seems that government help is available under the furlough scheme.

    Employers can potentially furlough staff until the end of April 2021. Employers can also claim SSP for CEV staff who are formally shielding. SSP will also be available for the people who:
    • have coronavirus symptoms
    • live with someone with coronavirus symptoms
    • have been notified that they should self-isolate under the NHS test and trace system. This covers people who are not unwell but have been told to self-isolate because they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
    In terms of it costing the companies money to put employees on furlough, it seems that this was the case in September and October 2020, but not since the 'third phase' of the furlough scheme, which started in November 2020. The CIPD have outlined the timeline of the furlough scheme:
    June 2020

    From 10 June the furlough scheme is effectively closed for employees who had not been previously furloughed. Until June 30 employers could claim for 80% of furloughed employees current salary, up to £2,500 but the employee must not work for the employer. Employer National Insurance Contributions and certain pension contributions could be claimed too. Employers were not required to contribute anything towards furloughed employees’ salaries for June.

    July 2020

    The new flexible scheme applied only for previously furloughed employees. These people could return to work part time, but employers can still claim the grant for normal hours not worked. Any amount of working time and any shift pattern can be agreed with the previously furloughed staff. Until 31 July employers could still claim for 80% of the furloughed employees' current salary, up to £2,500 as well as employer National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions. Employers must pay employees for the hours they work.

    August 2020

    From 1 August, employers had to pay employee's National Insurance Contributions and pension contributions, and can no longer claim a grant for these. Until 31 August the government paid 80% of furloughed employees wages up to a cap of £2,500 for hours not worked. Employers had to pay employees for the hours worked. Employers funding of employers’ NICs and pension contributions applied to both the hours not worked and hours worked if any.

    September 2020

    From 1 to 30 September the government paid 70% of furloughed employees wages up to a cap of £2,187.50 for hours not worked. Employers paid 10% of wages to make up 80% total up to a cap of £2,500 plus employers’ total NICs and pension contributions.

    October 2020

    From 1 October until the end of the scheme on 31 October the government will pay 60% of wages up to a cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee does not work. Employers will pay 20% of wages to make up the 80% total up to a cap of £2,500 plus employers’ total NICs and pension contributions.

    November 2020 to April 2021

    Under the latest extension to furlough, the government pay 80% of furloughed employees wages up to a cap of £2,500 for hours not worked. Any employees who were employed on 30 October 2020 will be eligible as long as the employer made a PAYE RTI submission for them between the 20 March 2020 and 30 October 2020, unless they re-employed the employee after 23 September 2020. Employees on the payroll on 23 September 2020 who have since been made redundant can be re-employed and put onto the furlough scheme. Revised furlough agreements must have been in place by the end of Friday 13 November 2020. The relevant percentage will be reviewed in January 2021. Employers pay employees for any hours worked. Employers funding of employers’ NICs and pension contributions applies to both the hours not worked and hours worked if any.

    Sorry this is a lot of information, but I hope that it makes sense? 

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  • Shnek64Shnek64 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Bottom line Lisa, you can be furloughed while shielding ( fact ). It is at the Companys discretion. That is why my Company have decided to extend my 6 months full pay as they have decided to not furlough.
  • Bonnie1961Bonnie1961 Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Thank you Tori for taking the time on this subject.
     I’m guessing we don’t have any say in the matter. 
    We the shielders who want to work but can’t!!   are being treated unfairly x
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 3,894 Disability Gamechanger
    May be as you said its the company a few people in wales that are shielding  are getting sick pay  instead of getting furlough  its been on the news a few times 


  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 3,894 Disability Gamechanger
    @Tori_Scope does that cover wales aswel because its been on the news alot thst some people haven't had furlough  and either had sick pay or claimed universal credit 

    Its just a query  not anything else I just needed to clarify 
  • Bonnie1961Bonnie1961 Member Posts: 11 Listener
    I’m in Surrey and I think they are totally out of order. 
    I’ve done early starts and late finishes without payment to help with staff absences.
    After this I will be working my contracted hours only. 
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 3,894 Disability Gamechanger
    @Bonnie1961 its  confusing I think with all different things going on  because of the pandemic nothings normal anymore 
  • Bonnie1961Bonnie1961 Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Agree with you totally!! 
    I’m old school and I believe in looking after people. Then you get commitment 
  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 830 Pioneering
    My step dad is shielding for the second time and receiving furlough. 
  • Bonnie1961Bonnie1961 Member Posts: 11 Listener
    I’ve always been put on furlough, but not this time.
    They paid me ssp which isn’t enough to live on !! 
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 3,894 Disability Gamechanger
    @Bonnie1961 my daughter didn't get furlough this time either 
  • chiariedschiarieds Community Co-Production Group Posts: 8,080 Disability Gamechanger
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 3,894 Disability Gamechanger
    @chiarieds thank you  mainly put you on sick pay in wales rather than furlough I know wales were struggling to get the funding at one point becsuse we were locking down more than England 

    England and Wales have different rules and it complicates things the small company's are suffering in wales  where they haven't been furloughed they either had sick pay or universal credit 
  • Shnek64Shnek64 Member Posts: 9 Listener
    Hi again, hope everyones safe and well. Receiving 1st dose of vaccine tomorrow night. Does anyone know if this means I can return to work from shielding ?
  • Bonnie1961Bonnie1961 Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Hello, no you can’t go back to work until the government tells you it’s safe. You should of had a letter stating how long you have to shield for.  I’m shielding and at the moment it’s until 21st February. However this could be increased but definitely not reduced.🥴
  • Bonnie1961Bonnie1961 Member Posts: 11 Listener
    Forgot to say I’ve had my first vaccine as well stay safe 
  • MarkN88MarkN88 Member Posts: 830 Pioneering
    Technically, I think its guidance, not law. 
  • lisathomas50lisathomas50 Member Posts: 3,894 Disability Gamechanger
    @Bonnie1961in wales our shielding is up until 31st March 2021 got my letter the other day spent most of my time in the house over the last year 
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