Many thanks for your patience. It is certainly possible for the employer to furlough just one employee – there is no minimum or maximum number of employees that they can furlough, however furlough remains entirely the employer’s choice.
The current situation is creating a lot of difficulties for many people across the country as it is unprecedented to have to look after your children at home, whilst not being able to rely on any outside help, whilst also working at the same time.
However, the law has not changed in terms of her options and these remain as follows:
· Dependency leave – this is only for emergencies and she could have likely used it to start with but once it has become apparent that this will be happening on an ongoing basis, it will no longer be classified as an emergency
· Parental leave – she gets 4 weeks of unpaid leave per year per child that she can take, although she needs to give at least 21 days notice. If the employer cannot accommodate her chosen dates they must offer her an alternative. Even if she takes one day off a week it will still count as a whole week off her entitlement
· Holidays – to be applied for in the normal way
· Unpaid leave, if approved by her employer
· As a final resort, she can just take the time off unauthorised but that risks disciplinary action so only do it if absolutely necessary and she has no other option.
Finally, whilst furlough is still an option, she simply cannot force the employer to go down that route and all she can do is ask.
Does this answer your query?