Can I do paidwork on furlough?

If you are now on furlough, you are probably looking for new ways to get paid. Before you do, be sure to keep a few things in mind.

First off, the government furlough system that is now in place in the UK was created to protect both workers and employers. The system is built to keep people at their jobs, even if they aren’t going in to work. Most furloughed workers in the UK can now collect approximately 80% of their original wages while waiting for current difficulties to clear up. For some workers who were already living at the limits of their regular salary, 80% doesn’t quite cut it, though.

While it is certainly helpful to receive most of the pay you are accustomed to, that 20% makes a huge difference when trying to stretch your funds. Are you allowed to take on other work while receiving furlough payments from your employer? That’s the question we are answering for you today.

The way the furlough system is set up now is quite straightforward. While furlough usually means that employees are faced with a stop in both work and pay. However, with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, employers are given money to continue payment to furloughed workers. For employees to qualify for these furlough payments, they cannot complete any work with the employer paying them their furlough benefits. The no-work rules under the furlough scheme in the UK are extremely strict. Any work done for the employer paying the benefits will be subject to paying a full day’s salary – even if the work that they do is for a mere 5 minutes.

You should also be careful about taking on paidwork with any other employers while receiving your furlough benefits. In most cases, taking on work with another employer can breach your current contract. For that reason, you must be very careful about your contractual obligation before taking a second job while on furlough, even if that work is part-time.

So, what can you do? You can volunteer and you can do freelance work. Many furloughed employees are now working from home as freelancers, using the extra time on their hands to cash in on their skills. There are many different skills that are perfectly marketable, such as graphic design, content management, content writing, online marketing, social media management, and much more.

You’ll find that many employers are now looking for freelancers to do the work their now-furloughed employees used to do, which means you may be able to find work as a freelancer that is either similar to what you did at your regular job or in line with any other of your skills.

It is also possible to set up your own business as a freelancer. Once you begin building a reliable client base, you can create a team to extend your reach. It is quite simple to do and can be done on the very same platform you used to start your venture into freelance work. You are exposed to a pool of clients looking for quality talent, as well as having the opportunity to find the experts you need to fulfil their needs. A win-win for everyone.