Furlough Vs. Sick Leave

During the COVID-19 epidemic, millions of individuals have been furloughed or laid off from work as businesses implement measures to maintain financial stability and get back on track. During the epidemic, the furlough system saved millions of jobs, particularly in the United Kingdom, where firms were provided government handouts covering 80% of wages for staff on their payroll. This prompts the question, “What is a furlough?” And what makes it any different from a sick leave?

What is Furlough?

Furlough refers to an authorised leave of absence granted to an employee owing to the company’s or the employer’s unique demands. It is a temporary leave of absence with the expectation that employees will return to work after a short length of time. Furloughing is not the same as being fired; you may be obliged to work a set number of unpaid hours for weeks or months for a variety of reasons. Furloughs are used by businesses for a variety of reasons, including shutdowns, a shortage of cash for payroll, or a lack of appropriate employment for all employees.

Furlough is an involuntary leave or change in work hours, such as a temporary layoff, that firms utilise to get through financially challenging times. So you’re still their employee, but you’re not getting paid. You’re not on their payroll, but you are eligible to some benefits. It is a temporary solution, with staff expected to return to work after some time. The company must first tell you of their intention to furlough you.

What is a Sick Leave?

Sick leave is a leave of absence taken by an employee owing to a medical condition. Employees are entitled to sick leave or paid sick leave if they or a member of their family is ill or has been sick. Employees may be awarded sick leave with compensation by executive departments or independent establishments within the legal boundaries. Employees are typically granted sick leave to respond to their own health requirements or the needs of a sick family member. Paid or unpaid sick leave is available.

Paid sick leave is a voluntarily offered benefit by employers for either long-term or short-term health needs, depending on the firm and state laws. The total amount of sick leave authorised by the firm may be issued all at once or in installments. Paid sick leave is available to more than 90% of government employees and more than 70% of private-sector employees. Employees with higher pay grades often receive more paid sick time than their lower-paid peers.

Difference between Furlough and Sick Leave


– A furlough is an involuntary leave of absence, usually without pay, in which employers opt to temporarily pause employment but employees are expected to return to work after a set length of time. Sick leave is a compensated absence from work taken to recuperate from an illness or to care for a sick family member. It is a leave of absence that allows you to stay at home to care for your health without losing money.


– Furloughs are rather widespread in the private sector, where businesses are required to do so for a variety of reasons. Furloughs are used as a staffing reduction tactic by businesses for reasons such as shutdowns, a shortage of cash for payroll, or a lack of appropriate work for all employees. Furloughs are typically implemented by businesses and are forced onto employees. Sick leave can be used for any health-related issue, such as an injury, a medical appointment, a sick family member, an operation, a hospital stay, and so on.


– There is no time limit on how long a corporation can furlough an employee, with or without pay, as long as the employees are qualified. Furloughs are typically for a few weeks to a few months, but no longer than 12 months. Employees are normally entitled to a maximum of 12 days of paid sick leave or more, depending on the establishment and the nature of the illness. The definition of sick leave and the law vary from firm to corporation.

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