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Supply Teachers: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Question for Department for Education

UIN 160851, tabled on 1 March 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, whether he has made an assessment of the potential merits of requiring teacher supply agencies to sign up to the flexible furlough scheme in order for supply teachers to have access to financial support during the covid-19 lockdown announced in January 2021.

Answered on

10 March 2021

The decision to furlough an employee, fully or flexibly, is entirely at the employer's discretion as it is dependent on a range of factors that the employer is best placed to determine, for example, the amount of work available for the employee.

Employers can flexibly furlough their employees, including supply staff employed via employment agencies, for the hours the employee would usually have worked in that period, whilst also being able to work outside of the hours they are furloughed: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/claim-for-wage-costs-through-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme#flexible-furlough-agreements. Employees can work for any amount of time and any work pattern, but they cannot do any work for their employer during hours that employers record them as being on furlough.

The Department published additional guidance for schools on how they can support temporary staff and suppliers during the period of restricted pupil attendance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care/coronavirus-covid-19-financial-support-for-education-early-years-and-childrens-social-care.