Martin Lewis returned to our screens on Thursday night with important advice for parents who are caring for their children as schools close amid a third national lockdown.

The cash-saving guru returned to ITV with the latest series of the Martin Lewis Money Show and took the opportunity to explain a crucial rule in the furlough scheme that would help parents with childcare.

Speaking on his money show he said: “It’s important to understand if you can’t work because of childcare responsibilities, your kids are now at home, then firms can furlough you just because of that.

“Ask them, they don’t have to, but I’d hope that they would be considerate on that fact.”

He added: “If they don’t furlough you, you do have a legal right to time off to look after your children, but you don’t have a legal right to be paid for it.

“Which is why furlough is a very good option and of course flexible furlough works there too.”

Speaking on BBC Radio Five Live on Thursday the finance expert explained what he means by ‘flexible furlough’.

He said: "So, whether it's your following for childcare worker just because you can't work, if there is some work that you can do, let's say you normally work 35 hours a week, but you can only do 10 hours a week, you can be furloughed for 25 hours on 80 percent of your pay up to up to the limits and your employer will then give you your full salary for the hours that you work so there are ways that you can work this around."

Boris Johnson once again asked the nation to “stay at home” this week as the country enters a third national lockdown to tackle the rapid rise in coronavirus cases.

To help support businesses and prevent redundancies the Government’s furlough scheme was recently extended until April 2021.

What are the rules on flexible furlough?

The Government’s furlough scheme allows employers to claim a furlough grant for hours not worked by an employee.

The official guidance states: “There is no minimum furlough period, agreed flexible furlough agreements can last any amount of time.

“Employees can enter into a flexible furlough agreement more than once.

“Although flexible furlough agreements can last any amount of time, unless otherwise specified the period that you claim for must be for a minimum claim period of seven calendar days.”