Furlough and Holiday Leave

Since the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme was introduced in March there has been a great deal of uncertainty and debate over the position in respect of holiday leave for furloughed employees.

The earlier Government guidance was silent on a number of issues and left many questions unanswered. The Government has published new guidance entitled “Holiday entitlement and pay during coronavirus – Covid-19”.  This thankfully clarifies a number of issues.  The full guidance can be found at:-


The key points to bear in mind are:-

Accrual of holiday

Furloughed employees continue to accrue holiday leave during the furlough period. They accrue both their statutory holiday (5.6 weeks) and any additional contractual holiday.

Entitlement to take holiday

Furloughed employees are entitled to take holiday leave during the furlough period – this does not disrupt the furlough.

Requiring employees to take holiday during furlough

Holiday pay

Employees should be paid their normal pay (pre-furlough pay) for any holiday leave. Accordingly, if an employee is only receiving 80% of their pay during their furlough period,  the employer will have to top this up to 100% of the employees usual wage for the holiday leave period.   The employees usual wage is calculated in the normal way under the Working Time Regulations 1998.

Bank holidays

In respect of bank holidays, if the furloughed employee would usually have the bank holiday as a holiday then there are two options:-

Carrying over holiday

Word of caution

The provisions relating to carrying forward holiday is law. However, the government guidance is just guidance, it is not binding but it is of course good practise to follow that.

We advise both employers and employees.  If you would like employment advice regarding the Scheme or any other employment issue please do not hesitate to contact us to arrange a telephone/video appointment.

Please note the above is for information purposes only and is intended to be a short summary.  It should not be treated as a comprehensive guide and should not be acted on without qualified legal advice.

Get in touch

Hart Reade are here to help you in Eastbourne, Meads, Hailsham and Polegate.  All departments are fully operational and ready to progress matters quickly.  We can you practical advice on any matters relating to employment.

If you would like to get in touch with one of our Employment Solicitors, then please call 01323 727321. Or alternatively, please fill in the form below and someone will be in touch.

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Author: Jacqueline Penfold. Litigation and Employment, Partner