Martin Lewis points out key date and explains who could get furlough in coronavirus crisis

Martin Lewis has made his name for his money saving expertise, and he is the founder of the website of Money Saving Expert. Today, the financial journalist answered questions sent in by people affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, during the Ask Martin segment on This Morning.


  • State pension is rising in April but thousands could see pensions cut

Today, one viewer, Anne-Marie, asked whether she would be able to take furlough leave from her new job.

She explained that she has been on gardening leave, after resigning from her previous employer, and was due to start her new job in the near future.

Responding to her, Mr Lewis gave a brief explanation to viewers about what fulough is, telling them that furlough is where “under the government coronarius Job Retention Scheme, you can get 80 percent of your salary up to a maximum of £2,500”.

The Money Saving Expert explained that “what counts” when it comes to working out who to ask for furlough leave from, is who they were on the payroll for on the final day of last month.

He continued: “It applies to employees so your employer can do it. Now what counts is whose payroll you were on on the 29th of February – leap year day. I presume that was your old employer?

“So, you can’t get furlough from the new employer, because you weren’t working for them at the appropriate time.


“The question of whether your old employer can put you on furlough and is willing to do so is the open one.”

Mr Lewis explained that he had recently spoken to someone who had been made redundant during to the coronavirus pandemic.

He then directed this individual to call up their old employer, who ended up taking them back on via furlough leave – meaning they can now get 80 percent of their salary up to £2,500 a month.

“It’s a grey area as to whether they can take you back on,” he said, before telling Anne-Marie:

“But look, this is generally at employers’ discretion. They are the the gate-keepers for this state welfare.”

Turning to look at Anne-Marie’s next steps, Mr Lewis suggested she requested furlough leave from her previous employer – although he conceded that there is no definite answer to her situation.

“What I would do if I were you, is go back to your old employer, and say to them, ‘Look I need your help. Can you furlough me? I’ll take 80 percent of my salary. Can you put me on hold and give me the furlough through you?'”


  • Martin Lewis explains meaning of furlough and if you are entitled

Mr Lewis continued: “It is eligible to do that. The only cost to it [the employer] is in the short-term, because until they’re going to get the money at the end of April. They’re going to have to cover your salary [until then].

Turning to address employers, he said: “This isn’t cheating the system. Tthe fact that you’ve [Anne-Marie] resigned is grey area I’ll admit but, generally, putting people on furlough isn’t cheating the system – you’re meant to be doing what you can to get everybody through this and help everybody through this.”

Mr Lewis explained to Anne-Marie that should her previous employer decline to put her on furlough, then she would then have the option to apply for Universal Credit.

Elsewhere during the segment, Mr Lewis was asked about whether some first-time buyers should go ahead in exchanging contracts on their first home during this unprecendented situation.

He replied: “If you have already exchanged contracts then mortgage companies are saying they will extend their offers by three months so that you will be able to complete in time.”

However, he also pointed out that many removal companies are not currenlty operating – making the task potentially much more difficult.

“You would have to move yourself and getting the mortgage company to complete will be difficult,” he said.

This Morning airs weekdays on ITV from 10am.

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