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Updated guidance: Furloughed staff

6th Apr 2020 / By Rebecca Veale

Staff that have been furloughed are now permitted to undertake other employment, if their contract permits.

Updated Government guidance means that producers can employ people that have been furloughed due to the COVID-19 outbreak and this will not affect the grant that they can claim under the scheme.

However, if the employer that has placed their member of staff on furlough stops furloughing them, they must return to their original employment role. The member of staff must also attend any training their original employer requires during the furlough process.

Any activities undertaken while on furlough must be in line with the latest Public Health guidance during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Any business taking on furloughed people are urged to check with their current employer before any contract is agreed. The new employee should tick column C on the starter checklist form for HMRC.

Members can read the NPA's full COVID-19 guidance, plus the regularly updated 'Key Issues' document, in the new coronavirus section in the Members' Area.  

The latest NPA guidance document was updated on April 3.

It it includes comprehensive guidance on 'You and Your Staff'. With staff having to self-isolate or stay at home to look after children due to school closures, businesses will have to consider how to manage the loss of existing staff, and how best to manage those staff members in the workplace. Businesses should consider the following:

  • Varying work patterns so employees come to work at different times of the day to help with childcare issues
  • Explore any opportunities for sharing staff between companies, being careful not to compromise biosecurity measures
  • As agricultural universities and vet schools are closing, are there any students in the local area that could work on the farm?
  • Other industries will be making people redundant which may bolster the local available workforce – consider utilising anyone who may be looking for additional income but be careful to vet them appropriately.

There is more guidance on working practices in the document. There is also information on key roles hygiene, managing risk and, importantly support, – it is a stressful time and there are people that can help – including us!