Agreement to Furlough Leave
(Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme)

On Tuesday of this week, 31.03.2020, the Company received assurance that we are eligible for the Government Job Retention Scheme referred to as Furlough.

The Company has therefore sent a letter today, 1st April 2020, by post to selected AGE-UK employees eligible for the Furlough scheme. 

As soon as you receive this letter please follow the instructions to register your agreement. 

Without your agreement we may have to consider further drastic cost reduction measures.

For reference only, a copy of the communication being sent out to the eligible AGE-UK employees is detailed below.

Agreement to Furlough Leave (Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme)

I refer to the recent communication of 25th March regarding the decision made to enforce a 2-week shutdown with effect from Monday 30th March which was in response to employees growing increasingly concerned about their personal safety during this current COVID-19 outbreak and our decision to continue operating.

We therefore announced that we would bring forward our Summer/Christmas shut-down period to cover the next 2 weeks (From 30 March 2020 to 14 April 2020). For shop floor workers this would entail you taking 4 days of your annual leave entitlement. For office staff, this would entail you taking 8 days of your annual leave entitlement. The Easter Bank Holidays would be treated as usual.

Since we took that decision the government has published the details of its Furlough Scheme (Government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) which clarifies that our employees are eligible to access the scheme. As this has now been confirmed our proposal is that all shop floor and office staff should be placed on Furlough leave at the end of the shutdown period and that those who wish to be put on Furlough leave earlier (and thereby retain more annual leave) can do so from Monday 6 April 2020.

This gives you the following options:

Option 1 – Agree to furlough from Monday 6th April for a period of a minimum period of 3 weeks for which you will receive 80% of your basic wages/salary (subject to the usual deductions).   Holiday 6th – 14th April (5 days) will be returned to you.    Expected return date 27th April 2020.

Option 2 – Agree to Furlough leave from 6th April for a minimum period of 3 weeks but continue to take holidays from 6th – 14th April (5 days) for which you will receive 100% of earnings for those 5 days and the remainder at 80% of your basic wages/salary (subject to the usual deductions).     Expected return date is 27th April 2020.

The current week 30 March – 5 April will be considered either holiday or the August shutdown brought forward for which you will receive 100% of earnings. 

This letter is therefore seeking your agreement to the above arrangements.  Any specific concerns can be addressed when we return to work. 

Please note, if we do not receive the vast majority of our employees’ agreement to these changes, we may have no option but to consider wider cost-saving measures such as short-time working, unpaid leave and potential redundancies.  

What does the scheme mean? 

  • Instead of lay-offs or making roles redundant, we are able to furlough employees.
  • A ‘furloughed employee’ is an employee that remains employed but who we ask not to come to work and not undertake any work (i.e. a temporary period of leave).
  • A furloughed employee will be paid 80% of their basic wages/salary (subject to the usual deductions for tax and national insurance).  This is a flat payment payable by us, which will be reimbursed by the Government. If the employee works variable hours their salary will be based upon average earnings or their comparable earnings in the previous tax year.

Change to your Employment Contract 

If you are designated as furloughed this will be a temporary change to your terms and conditions of employment

  • You will not be required to attend work or to work from home. If work becomes available for you, your Furlough Leave will be ended.
  • You acknowledge and agree that the Company may ask you to return to work at any time during any period of Furlough Leave and, once you return to work, you will no longer be classed as furloughed. 
  • You will remain an employee of the Company during any period that you are designated as furloughed and all of the other provisions of your employment contract will continue to apply except that you will not be required to work whilst on Furlough Leave.  This will have no impact on your continuity of service with the Company.  
  • You will continue to accrue statutory leave in the usual way.

Any entitlement under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is subject to change depending upon the rules of the Scheme. If that scheme terminates you will be required to return to work, and we will reassess our options.

We will notify you at least one working day in advance as to when your period of Furlough Leave is to be ended. At present the government envisages that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will last until 31 May 2020 although it may be extended. We are also keen to get the business up on a normal footing as soon as possible so your Furlough Leave may be ended before this date if a normal workflow resumes.

At the end of the period of Furlough Leave, you will be expected to return to work unless we have entered into any alternative arrangements with you by that time. If we are proposing any further changes you will be notified of any proposals in advance and in writing during the Furlough period.

What do I need to do?

To confirm acceptance, please respond by Friday, 3rd April 2020 as follows:

  • Take a photo of the signed page and send to my email address at hr@alamoeur.com
  • Sign the letter indicating your choice and returning in the enclosed self-addressed envelope

If you do not wish to accept the offer, your terms and conditions of employment will remain unchanged for the present and you will be required to attend work as normal.

We will communicate with you regularly during this period and in this regard you are directed to the web page specifically created for this purpose on https://www.alamo-europe.com/covid19

If your personal phone number, email or mailing address has changed recently, please provide your current contact information to HR immediately. Please feel free to contact HR at hr@alamoeur.com with any questions. 

Finally, we would like to thank you for your patience and understanding during what is a difficult period for everyone. We value the support and commitment of our employees and we are confident that we will get through this together. 

Yours sincerely

Chris Mason
Director of HR