Hi again, the first and most important thing to bear in mind is that furlough is not a given and there is never a ‘right to be furloughed’ It is simply an option open to employers to use as they see fit and the Government has entrusted them fully to decide as and when the scheme needs to be applied. Therefore, even if you meet all the criteria and tick every box to be eligible for furlough, the employer can still decide not to do so and you cannot challenge that decision (unless it was made on discriminatory grounds such as because of your gender, age, race, religion, etc).
If the employer refuses to furlough you then they are still obliged to honour their contractual obligations towards you. There are a couple of possible situations then:
· If you have guaranteed hours and no lay off clause in your contract, the employer would be expected to honour these and pay you as normal, even if there is no work for you
· If you do not have guaranteed hours of work, such as working on a zero hours contract, in between assignments, etc then the employer can simply rely on that arrangement and not give you any hours or work and therefore not pay you.
In summary, furlough is just an option to help employers with their wage expenses, to allow them to retain staff for this difficult period, rather than having to let them go as they cannot pay therm. However, it is not a given that the employer will rely on the scheme and ask for such help and if they choose not to, then they simply have to continue meeting their contractual obligations, which are dependent on what your contract says, as explained above.
Also they could have just dismissed you instead because you have no unfair dismissal protection in the first place, so altogether the employer has acted legally, even if unethically.
Let me know when you are happy to close the question so I can submit a refund request for the call