Business • Economy

One third of UK's furloughed employees report being asked to continue work

One third of UK's furloughed employees report being asked to continue work
Window of a closed fashion store, Boden, Chelsea. The store is closed due to the covid 19 pandemic. Credit: John Cameron

In a study by Crossland Employment Solicitors, more than a third of respondents who had been placed on furlough under the government's job retention scheme reported being asked by their employer to continue working during the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme was set up to minimise job losses across the UK economy and sees the government paying 80% of a firm's staff salaries up to a maximum of £2,500 per employee per month under the condition that the furloughed employees undertake no work that would generate revenue for the firm. Most of the survey respondents who reported being asked to continue working while furloughed stated that they were undertaking more administrative tasks than usual, with some even being asked to use their personal phone number and e-mail accounts in a bid to avoid being caught breaking the scheme's rules.

Her Majesty's Revenue & Customs, overseeing the job retention scheme, have received more than 3,000 complaints about fraudulent or erroneous claims. Its Chief Executive, Jim Harra, said in a statement to the Commons Public Accounts Committee that tipoffs were being taken "very seriously". Firms found to have broken the rules could be forced to return all funds paid by the scheme.

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Card reviewed by: @ash