Agency workers: Are agency workers entitled to furlough pay?

UK businesses have been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, and the Government has unveiled a number of financial support measures for workers at this difficult time. However for some, such as agency workers, it is unclear what support is available.

What is the coronavirus job retention scheme?

All UK businesses are eligible to make a claim to the coronavirus job retention scheme.

The scheme has been set up to support people who would otherwise have been made redundant during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Employees who have been asked to stop working, but are being kept on their company’s payroll, will be considered ‘furloughed workers’.



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Who is considered an agency worker?

An agency worker is someone who has a contract with an agency and works temporarily for a different employer.

While you work temporarily for an employer, your work is controlled by this employer and not the agency who employs you.

You’re not considered self-employed if you are an agency worker, but you are not employed by the employer you are working for on a temporary basis.


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Are agency workers entitled to furlough pay?

The issue of agency workers and furlough pay is unclear at the current time.

The coronavirus job retention scheme in its current form is only accessible for employers who operate a PAYE system for employees.

Many agency workers will not be working on PAYE, and may not receive a regular income every month, factors which would suggest an agency worker cannot claim from the scheme.

However, the details surrounding all financial relief from the Government are still being ironed out at the present time.

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