Training and development for furloughed staff

Posted on 20th April 2020

The government have announced that employees who have been furloughed are able to continue to take part in training and development sessions, albeit remotely during the present time. Gateway HR have put together some guidance for employers who are considering asking their furloughed workers engage in job related training sessions and the points that should be considered.

Can my furloughed workers take part in training and development sessions?

Yes. The government have announced that as long as employees are not generating revenue or providing services for their employer, they can still take part in job related training and development sessions whilst they are furloughed.

Do I have to pay my employees while they are training?

Employers will have to pay their employees for the hours that they are training.

How much do I need to pay my employees while they are training?

Employers need to make sure that employees are paid at least National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage, whichever is appropriate, for any hours that they are training.

How does this affect the furlough funding?

The furlough funding is 80% of the employee’s full salary or a maximum of £2500 per month.

Those at the higher end of the funding should be provided with a sufficient salary to cover any training hours but for some employees the funding may bring their salary to lower than NMW/NLW.

Employers should make up any shortfall in the employee’s wages is topped up to at least NMW/NLW.

What about Apprentices?

Apprentices can be furloughed in the same way as other employees and they can continue with their training while they are furloughed.

As above, any shortfall in the apprentice’s salary should be topped up to either Apprenticeship Minimum Wage, National Minimum Wage or National Living Wage. Whichever is appropriate.

Do employees have to undertake training if I ask them to?

If there is a contractual obligation for the employee to undertake job related training, then employers can require the training to still be carried out but the pay must still be enhanced if applicable.

If there is no contractual obligation the employer can offer employees training and many employees may welcome the chance to develop themselves further while they are on furlough leave.

How can Gateway HR assist you with training and development?

We are running FREE 2-hour taster sessions from our ever popular Chartered Management Institute (CMI) Management & Leadership and Coaching and Mentoring courses.  You can find the details here

We are also running a lot of our courses online for our clients, including Train the Trainer, Team Building and Managing Diversity.  For more details just give us a call.

Emma Wynne Character
Written by:
Emma Wynne
Managing Director