Shielding is being reintroduced, although not to the same extent as it was last time. Therefore employers may have employees who are being advised not to attend work for health reasons.
Under the extended CJRS scheme, employees can be furloughed where they cannot attend work because they are shielding or need to stay at home with someone who is shielding.
Employees can also be furloughed if because of caring responsibilities resulting from coronavirus they cannot attend work. This includes employees that need to look after children.
Whilst the scheme is not intended for short term sickness absences if employers want to furlough employees who are off sick for business reasons then provided the eligibility criteria are otherwise met, Government guidance confirms this is permissible.
Employees who are furloughed and become sick whilst on furlough must at least be paid SSP. However, employers can choose whether to pay them SSP or keep them furloughed at their furlough rate.