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
4myschools furloughed all eligible workers since 23rd March when schools closed. The Job Retention scheme is unprecedented and there are many unanswered questions associated with ongoing changes which impact weekly paid temporary workers. We are unravelling the updated guidance so we can make a decision on how to proceed in your best interests but anticipate unless there is a change in the Governments approach to workers employed by employment businesses that we will not be able to access the scheme beyond 1st August 2020 due to the financial impact.
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 and work in schools.
How long will the Furlough scheme last for?
The scheme was originally intended to last for 3 months. On 12 May the Government announced an extension to the end of
October 2020. Although the scheme has been extended to 31 October 2020, the Government subsidy will reduce from August meaning businesses will have to contribute to temporary workers pay. It is anticipated that most employment businesses will struggle to access the scheme after 1st August due to financial implications.
4myschools have been severely impacted by Covid-19 but still maintain our internal workforce and all costs associated with running our business however we will continue to support our supply teachers and make furlough payments throughout August. a supply teacher be placed on furlough once their assignment finishes?
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.
• 4myschools worked very hard on behalf of supply teachers to encourage schools to pay those who were in long term advanced bookings.
• The cabinet Office released guidance on payments to suppliers for Contingent Workers impacted by COVID-19. We worked closely with our partners to seek clarity on this guidance which helped many supply teachers and 4myschools through this difficult time.
From the 10th June 2020 no one new will be able to access the furlough scheme. This will mean that if an assignment finishes after this date and the worker has not been previously furloughed they cannot access the scheme.
Did 4myschools furlough their supply teachers ?
We Furloughed everyone who was eligible, and worked closely with the two umbrella companies we work with to secure furlough pay.
When did you furlough supply teachers?
We furloughed eligible supply teachers from 23rd March or when they last worked if they were still on an assignment. Some teachers were furloughed but then went back on to assignments once schools started to re-open or offer online tuition.
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.
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.
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 have claimed the grant through the job retention scheme for all who are eligible.