Furlough Scheme & Holidays

1st May 2020

To all Employees

Dear Colleagues,

On behalf of the Senior Management team, please accept our thanks for your co-operation in complying with the procedures put in place to enable a safe return to work on Monday, 27th April 2020. 

Except for a few minor problems particularly around social distancing i.e. the 2m rule, most employees have listened to the advice provided. The 2m rule, washing hands and sneezing into a tissue have been provided by Government and Senior Health professionals and are there for your own safety. Please abide by them.   

Government advice over this crisis has, at times, been a bit confusing particularly in the area of employment law and the Furlough Scheme is an example of that. It was not clear at the outset if Bank Holidays would affect the furlough scheme (which has to be for 3 full weeks minimum) and therefore, in the absence of that clarity, our legal advisors informed us to treat bank holidays as furlough pay and return bank holidays to employees.  The alternative would have been to extend furlough for a longer period to provide the required 3 weeks.     

We have now had clarification from the Government that you can take holiday during a period of Furlough. Therefore, as Bank Holidays are fixed by the Government and we have always, without exception, taken the Easter Bank Holiday, these will continue to be classed as bank holidays and your pay will be adjusted to reflect 100% of pay for those two days. This adjustment will be made week commencing 4th May 2020.  

I appreciate this is confusing but as the Government has changed their position more than once, we, like every other organisation in the UK, have been dealing with the problems that has created.

Yours sincerely,

Chris Mason

Director of HR