Covid 19 Frequently Asked Questions
We hope you are well and safe
We are working daily with The Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Government, external lawyers and accountants ensuring that the interests of our workers are represented and to obtain as much detail as possible about The Job Retention Scheme.
However, this type of scheme is unprecedented and there are many unanswered questions associated with weekly paid public sector workers. We are getting close to unravelling the updated guidance so we can make a decision on how to proceed in your best interests.
We have provided as much information from Government departments as we can, and we will update you when we know more.
What does this update cover?
This update covers the progress we have made and the answers we have currently outstanding on the Job Retention Scheme.
The Scheme is not yet live – the online portal is expected to be up and running by the end of April.
We have attempted to answer most of the questions asked of our team.
In the public sector can the agency worker still be put on furlough if the school has terminated the assignment?
• There is no contractual requirement currently for a school to pay supply teachers for advanced bookings.
• There are no provisions in the AWR legislation or within the Government’s guidance either on AWR that states that an agency worker that qualifies for equal treatment should be paid when the school shuts down.
• 4myschools are currently working very hard on behalf of supply teachers to encourage schools to pay those who were in long term advanced bookings.
• The cabinet Office has released guidance on payments to suppliers for Contingent Workers impacted by COVID-19. We are working closely with our partners to seek clarity on this guidance which would help supply teachers and 4myschools through this difficult time.
Will 4myschools be furloughing their supply teachers ?
We will Furlough everyone who is eligible, however there are still many unanswered questions which we are currently working on.
If you are able to furlough supply teachers when would this be effective from?
Subject to any government change if we are able and they are eligible we currently plan to furlough supply teachers from 23rd March or when they last worked if you were still in an assignment.
Does an agency worker have a right to be furloughed?
No, an agency worker does not have a right to be furloughed. It is a decision for the employer.
For more detail about who can be furloughed see sections on the HMRC Guidance.
Who can claim for furloughed workers?
Any UK organisation with employees on a PAYE scheme on the 19th March 2020 can apply, including recruitment agencies.
Which employees can 4myschools claim for?
Furloughed employees must have been on our PAYE payroll on or before the 19th March 2020 and submitted Real Time Information to HMRC. In practice this will be anyone on assignments with 4myschools on or before the week of the 9th March 2020.
When on furlough, an employee can not undertake work for or on behalf of 4myschools and the employee’s wage will be subject to usual income tax and other deductions.
If an employee is working, but on reduced hours, or for reduced pay, they will not be eligible for the government scheme.
Employees hired after the week of the 9th March 2020 cannot be furloughed or claimed for in accordance with this scheme.
Employers do not need to place all their employees on furlough.
What does on payroll on 19th March 2020 mean?
The scheme applies to workers who were on payroll on or before 19th March 2020, because we pay a week in arrears this will apply to teachers on assignments on or before the week of 9th March 2020.
If I have not worked for 4myschools for over 12 weeks – am I eligible?
HMRC states that employees should be P45’d after 12 weeks of no employment on a PAYE scheme and therefore we do not know currently whether we will be allowed to claim anything for you as you may not be eligible.
Please note that if you were to be eligible pay will be based on an average of work over the 2019/2020 tax year.
Who is responsible for furloughing a temporary worker who works through an umbrella company?
If a temporary worker is on the payroll of an umbrella company, the umbrella company is the ’employer’.
It is up to the umbrella company whether the temporary worker will be furloughed or not we have been in contact with both umbrella companies who our supply teachers are employed by but advise you to contact them for guidance too.
Key Portfolio – 0345 371 0303
Nasa Umbrella Limited – 0117 929 7683
What if the umbrella company refuses to furlough the worker?
Employers are not under any obligation to place employees/temporary workers on furlough. If the umbrella company is the employer, then it can decide whether to furlough an employee/temporary worker or not.
Can 4myschools influence an umbrella company and make them pay?
The government scheme does not allow for this.
What if I am claiming Statutory Sick Pay?
Employees on sick leave or self – isolating should get Statutory Sick Pay, they can be furloughed after SSP ends.
Employees who are shielding in line with public health guidance can be placed on furlough.
How do you calculate pay for eligible employees whose wages vary?
If the agency worker has been employed for a full twelve months prior to the claim and they are eligible , we will claim for the average monthly earnings from the 2019 – 20 tax year
If the agency worker has been employed for less than a year and they are eligible, we will claim for an average of their monthly earnings prorated since they started work until their date of furlough.
If an agency worker is receiving furlough payments can they work elsewhere?
This is not prohibited, however HMRC may claim back any furlough grant it paid to an agency which they should not have claimed.
Where can I get accurate advice about schools and Coronavirus?
- Please keep up to date on the government website for educational settings
Can I help with online teaching as a supply teacher?
• Some 4myschools supply teachers are teaching through ‘Google Classroom’ etc, we will contact you if more requests are made from schools. If this is paid work you can not be furloughed.
Should a supply teacher or support staff still work if they are fit and able?
• Many supply teachers and supply support staff have been calling us to offer their help to our schools and children. Thank you, you are all superstars!!
• If you are not in the vulnerable groups mentioned by the government and want to help then please use updatedge app to let us know you are available, this is the quickest easiest way to let us and your contacts in schools know.
What can I do if I need money now and I am not claiming SSP?
If you are not eligible to receive sick pay or self-isolating you may be able to claim universal credit
We will update this list of questions as best we can over the coming weeks.
Please know 4myschools are doing our best to gain clarity on behalf of all our candidates. We will claim the grant through the job retention scheme for all who are eligible and are ever hopeful that teachers who have fallen through the cracks will be paid for future assignments.