Employment law at this time is fast moving.Anisa Niaz-Dickinson gives the latest details of government guidance on taking up new employment on furlough.
GUIDANCE ON THE 4th APRIL 2020
HMRC have now published updated details of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) which answer this question more definitively. As indicated in the earlier blog on this issue the CJRS did not explicitly prevent a furloughed employee from finding alternative employment and only prevented the employee from carrying out work for their existing employer, i.e. the employer who furloughed them.
However the HMRC update, published on 4 April 2020, states that if the employee is contractually allowed, they may take up new employment whilst on furlough. This chimes with my previous blog on this issue as it is clearly being left to employers to decide if the furloughed employee should be allowed to work elsewhere during the furlough period. The CJRS however now clearly does permit this to happen, albeit that it is not a given and those employers who wish to do so can prevent it.
Note that the new employer is advised to complete a HMRC starter checklist form and the furloughed employee should indicate on the form that s/he has another job. So it seems to be that simple, although the contractual position between the employer who has furloughed and their employee undoubtedly will not be quite so straightforward.
The updated CJRS published on 4 April 2020 can be found at: