Skip to content

Can directors, partners or those working under umbrella companies be furloughed?

Yes. The updated government guidance has confirmed that office holders (including company directors), salaried members of Limited Liability Partnerships (LLPs) individuals working under umbrella companies (including agency workers) and individuals who are classified as ‘workers’ rather than employees can be furloughed but only to the extent that they are paid via PAYE. Therefore director’s fees can be claimed (subject to the cap) but dividends are excluded, as are bonuses and commission payments.

Those who are paid annual are now eligible to make a claim, subject to meeting the remaining requirements. This includes being notified to HMRC on an RTI submission on or before 19 March 2020 which relates to a payment of earnings in the 19/20 tax year.

The decision to furlough a director or office holder should be adopted as a formal decision of the company or LLP which should be minuted and notified in writing.

Company directors can only undertake work to fulfil a duty or other obligation arising from an Act of Parliament relating to the filing of company accounts or provision of other information relating to the administration of the director’s company while furloughed and they cannot carry out work that would generate revenue or perform services to or on behalf of their company. This also applies to salaried individuals who are directors of their own personal service company (PSC).

Related FAQs

What do we need to do?

Privacy policy – You must make sure the relevant privacy policies deal with how you will process Covid-19 data. You should have an employee privacy policy and this may already deal with health data (if it doesn’t, it should). You might also need to look at privacy policies for customers, visitors and suppliers. This ensures that processing is lawful, fair and transparent.

Lawful processing conditions – You will need to consider which processing conditions you are relying on (remembering that you need both an Article 6 condition and an Article 9 condition – this is the part of the GDPR which deals with special category data). As a lot of the data you collect will be about employees, you can’t use consent so you will have to find another lawful reason under GDPR which allows you to process the data.

Appropriate policy document – When you are considering your Article 9 processing conditions, remember you must also have an “appropriate policy document” in place.

Processing record – Finally make sure your processing record is up to date with information on what data you collect and use.

Do employers still have to enrol and reenrol employees?
  • Yes, and this includes furloughed employees under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
  • Employers must continue to assess their new employees or newly eligible existing employees and enrol them where required, but can make use of the statutory postponement procedure which allows them to delay for up to three months the assessment of new employees for the purpose of enrolment (see further details here on the Pensions Regulator’s website). Declarations of compliance for new employers must still be completed in the normal way.
  • Postponement cannot be used for re-enrolment. The Regulator recommends employers use the re-enrolment date tool on the Regulator’s website to choose a date up to three months after the third anniversary of enrolment to assess staff for re-enrolment. Further information about employers’ obligations about reenrolment from the Pensions Regulator can be found here. Re-declarations of compliance for new employers must still be completed in the normal way.
What should I do if I have a hearing scheduled in the COP?

Parties are encouraged to review upcoming matters to assess the viability for there to be any agreement which can be reached in relation to the issues in dispute or to consider whether the case needs to proceed to a remote hearing. If directions or issues can be agreed between the parties, reducing the need for remote hearings, then that is the preferred option.

How do you prevent MHFA from handling situations that are for qualified individuals such as their GP or EAP?

The MHFA training makes this clear, it should be made clear in the MHFA role specification and procedures and discussed during regular MHFA peer support and MHFA surgery sessions. It is important to ensure that where an Employee Assistance Programme is in place, all MHFAs have details of that scheme available so they are able to instantly share details of the scheme with those who require support. If in doubt due to serious concerns then using 999 or Samaritans is an option.

How do I take “all reasonably practicable steps” to protect my employees during the coronavirus outbreak?

Follow up to date UK Government advice. This can be found at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/guidance-for-employers-and-businesses-on-coronavirus-covid-19

For best practice and more detailed information; consult the HSE’s website at https://www.hse.gov.uk/news/coronavirus.htm

Failing to follow the guidance is likely to be regarded as failing to take all reasonably practicable steps.