What about annual leave?
The updated guidance, like the previous guidance, is silent on annual leave and furlough.
However, ACAS guidance published on 2 April says: “If an employee is 'furloughed' (temporarily sent home because there’s no work), they can still request and take their holiday in the usual way. This includes taking bank holidays”.
Bearing in mind ACAS is a non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), mostly funded by BEIS, it is a reasonable assumption that this guidance reflects the Government’s intentions regarding holidays and furlough.
There is still some uncertainty on how holiday pay should be calculated during furlough. With effect from 6 April 2020 the new 52-week reference period for calculating holiday pay comes into force so that may well apply for employees with no normal hours when calculating their pay for the statutory 5.6 weeks.
In respect of at least 4 weeks leave there is a legal requirement that the pay reflects ‘normal pay’. That has been established as including all regular additional payments that the employee would have expected to receive had they been in work. This calculation would appear more generous than that which will apply to the Government’s 80% contribution to furlough pay calculations.
In respect of holidays over and above 5.6 weeks the employer can agree whatever payment it wishes.