Firstly we hope you are safe and well during this difficult time and we thank you for your patience.
We have been liaising with various bodies to try and understand the limited guidance that has been published and discover what options are available for supply staff via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Following last night’s clarification on eligibility, if you started working for us or via an umbrella company after 29.2.20 you will not be eligible to apply for furlough and the only option open to you will be to apply for Universal Credit if you need financial assistance.
Please see the .Gov website at https://www.gov.uk/how-to-claim-universal-credit for more information.
What the Government has said about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme so far:
Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, all UK employers will be able to access grant support to continue paying part of their employees’ salary for those employees that would otherwise have been laid off during this crisis.
- Employers will need to designate affected employees as ‘furloughed workers’, and notify employees of this change – changing the status of employees remains subject to existing employment law and, depending on the employment contract, may be subject to negotiation.
- Employers will submit information to HMRC about the employees that have been furloughed and their earnings through a new online portal.
- HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers wage costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. Salaries will be subject to normal PAYE deductions. HMRC is working urgently to set up a system for reimbursement as existing systems are not set up to facilitate payments to employers.
- The scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to 1st March and will be open initially for at least three months – but it will be extended if necessary.
- There’s no limit on the amount of funding available for the scheme. The Government will pay grants to support as many jobs as necessary.
- The Government expect the first grant payments will be paid within weeks, certainly by the end of April.
If you worked prior to 29.2.20 then we will furlough and pay will be calculated at 80% of a 12 week average. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch in due course.
Your umbrella company may be in contact with their own guidance, however if you worked before 29.2.20 you can apply to become a furloughed worker at 80% of a 12 week average.
You will need to speak directly with your umbrella company to clarify if you meet their criteria, as you can apply to be furloughed but it is currently at their discretion. As the fund is still in the process of being set up many companies do not know when funds will be available and therefore its difficult in the circumstances for them to make a decision, but we suggest you contact them directly.
If you need financial assistance in the meantime you can also apply for Universal Credit.
Long term positions
If you were already in a long term position prior to the school closures that was confirmed until Easter, you can apply for the above once your payments cease, if the school has agreed to continue to pay you. If you were confirmed until the summer and the school has agreed to pay you, you will be paid as usual and do not need to do anything. Your consultant is in the process of making contact with all of you, if you are unsure whether your payment has been confirmed please contact your consultant.
Currently our branches are closed but our consultants are still working from home and are able to assist with any queries. They are working hard to find work for those that are available and to ensure we are ready for when the schools re-open.
All that remains is to say we hope you and your families stay safe.