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Furlough Scheme FAQs

Helping you through difficult and uncertain times

We are pleased to be able to offer a Furlough Scheme to our workers at this difficult and uncertain time. Monitoring of Government guidance is ongoing and we will update the terms of our scheme in response to any changes. 

Government Job Retention Scheme Overview

For Government guidance on the Job Retention Scheme, please click here

Specialist Furlough Team

We have a specialist Furlough Team on hand to answer specific questions relating to your individual circumstances. If your question has not been answered in our FAQs below, please email make sure you include your full name. The team are very busy at this time but will do their best to respond to emailed queries within 72 hours.

Protocol Education's Furlough Scheme

The government says Furlough is offered from the 1st March 2020 but your scheme only starts on the 23rd March 2020. Why?

The Protocol Education Furlough scheme starts from Monday 23rd March 2020 as this was the first full week of nationwide school closures.

How is the Furlough payment calculated?

Our scheme will be based on the higher of 80% of:

  • average weekly earnings from the 2019-20 tax year (or part of depending on when you were first paid). The average amount will be calculated using your earnings divided by the number of weeks during your most current registration with Protocol Education


  • average weekly earnings for the Furlough period dates this time last year (scaled up by 52 weeks to get a full year comparison)

The full year calculation will be based on 52 weeks to enable us to make Furlough payments throughout the school holiday periods. 

If I have worked dates in the Furlough period, can I be invited onto the Furlough scheme?

No - under the terms of the government’s Job Retention Scheme, you cannot have paid work within the dates of the Furlough scheme. If any timesheeted days took place during the Furlough period, you cannot be invited onto the scheme for those particular weeks.

We are however reviewing eligibility to the scheme on a weekly basis. If based on our weekly reviews you are included onto the scheme at a future date, your payments will be backdated from the later of the 23rd March 2020 or from the Monday of the first week where you did not work.

I have received an email saying that I have a ‘current booking’ and not eligible for Furlough. This booking has been cancelled so how can I get onto the scheme?

Please liaise with your local consultant to ensure that the booking has been removed from your diary. Once your diary is clear you will be included as part of our weekly Furlough scheme review and if  eligible under all the remaining criteria you will be sent a Furlough invitation.  Regardless of when you join the scheme, payments will be paid from the later of Monday 23rd March 2020 or the first Monday after the last day you worked.

Are Furlough payments subject to tax and national insurance deductions, student loan payments and pension auto-enrolment?


Does the scheme apply if I work via an umbrella company?

No – if you work via an umbrella company you are not eligible for Furlough through Protocol Education. You will need to speak to your Umbrella company for details of their scheme.

Can I receive Furlough if I am claiming SSP / SMP or other statutory payments?

No. Although you can be invited in future once the statutory payments are finished.

Can I come off Furlough part way through if I get full time work elsewhere?

No. If you accept our Furlough offer you have agreed to be paid furlough payments for a minimum of three weeks. After three weeks then you are able to leave the scheme.

I initially accepted Furlough but I now want to reverse this decision – what do I need to do?

Please email the specialist Furlough team on and they will reverse the acceptance offer. If you have already been payrolled under Furlough and wish to withdraw your acceptance then you will need to repay the Furlough amount. Please liaise with the specialist Furlough team to organise this.

If I am being paid by the school for part-time days, can I receive Furlough payments for the other days?

No – Furlough only applies in cases where you have no paid work through Protocol Education.

Can I accept Furlough from multiple agencies or employers?

Yes. Under the terms of the government scheme, you can accept offers of Furlough from multiple employers and agencies. The £2500 cap applies to each employer individually.

How will the Furlough payments be paid?

The Furlough payments will be made weekly in arrears.

Will I receive a payslip for Furlough payments?


I joined Protocol Education after 28th February 2020 – can I be invited onto your Furlough scheme?

Under the terms of the government scheme, you cannot be invited to Furlough if you registered after the 28th February 2020. You may be entitled to apply for universal credit if you require additional financial assistance. Please visit for more details. You might be eligible under the furlough scheme of your previous employer and should contact them directly.

How will I be made aware that I am invited to be ‘on Furlough’?

You will be sent an email outlining your Furlough invitation including an option to accept furlough electronically.

Will your scheme cover holiday periods?

Yes. Our calculations of your payments ensure that we can run our scheme throughout school holiday periods.

What can I do if I can’t get Furlough and I am not working?

If you are not sick and don't qualify for our Furlough scheme, then you can apply for universal credit.  Click here for full details and all you need to know about universal credit.

Is the weekly Furlough amount quoted on communications gross or net?

The amount quoted on the emails is the gross amount.  This will be subject to tax and NI as per normal.

Will accepting the Furlough payments affect universal credit payments?

Yes.  You will need to advise the Department for Work and Pensions of the amount you will be getting on Furlough. This may have an impact on your universal credit payments.

Should I accept the invitation to Furlough if I am doing online tuition bookings for Protocol Education?

No. This is paid work and therefore would exclude you from the Furlough scheme.

If I worked my first day in week ending 28th March 2020 will I be included in the Furlough scheme?

Yes. Our scheme includes candidates who completed their first bookings in week ending 28th February 2020.

Can I work elsewhere if I am receiving Furlough payments?

The terms of the agreement allow you to take up part time or temporary roles whilst you are receiving Furlough. If you source permanent employment, then you should not accept furlough payments unless the employment falls outside normal school working hours.

I cannot follow the links on the email I received, what should I do?

Please try on an alternative device, for example a mobile phone. If the problem persists please contact your local branch.

I haven’t received a Furlough email, but I received a text message reminder? How can I get the email?

Please check with your local branch if we have your correct email address on file and we will arrange a re-send.

I am a self employed worker - can I accept Furlough and will this have any detrimental impact on my self employment status?

Yes, you can accept Furlough payments if you are classed as self-employed. Based on the current government guidance available we can see no impact of Furlough on your self-employed status.

Is there a cap on Furlough earnings?

Yes. The terms of the government’s Job Retention Scheme caps Furlough earnings at a maximum of £2500 per month/£576.92 per week.

I have not been invited onto your Furlough scheme because I am not active on your PAYE record. I did not ask for a p45 so why has this happened?

The terms of the government’s Job Retention Scheme only applies to workers who had an active PAYE record as of week ending 28th February 2020. Under HMRC rules, we are required to issue a p45 for agency workers who have not been payrolled for 16 weeks. As a result, you may have received a p45 from Protocol Education despite being registered with us. This will impact your eligibility for invitation to our Furlough scheme. If you have worked through another employer during this period, please liaise with them with regards to details of their Furlough scheme.

What does ‘Furlough’ mean?

If you are invited to be ‘on Furlough’ it means you are being given a paid leave of absence from work instead of losing your job.