Can employees undertake training courses while on furlough?

Yes, employees can undertake training whilst furloughed. Government guidelines in a sense encourage this by stating that employees ‘must be able to undertake any training [their company] require while on furlough’ and therefore many businesses will see it as an opportunity to upskill their workforce and ensure certificates are up to date prior to them returning to work.

Government guidance also explains that training for employees whilst furloughed is allowed on the basis that they are not making money for their employer (or a company linked or associated to their employer), or providing services to their employer.  Note also that employees undertaking training whilst on furlough must be paid the minimum wage, even if this is more than the 80% of their wage that will be subsidised.

Providing staff with training whilst on furlough is a great way to enhance their skills without the pressure of their usual workload distracting from their studies. Bywater offers online ISO auditing & business improvement training courses within our Virtual Classroom that allow your staff to undertake training at home. In addition, we continue to offer our venue based training courses.

Further details of the government regulations regarding training whilst furloughed can be viewed here: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/check-if-you-could-be-covered-by-the-coronavirus-job-retention-scheme

Please note, the furlough schemed ended on the 30th of September 2021.