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Furlough of staff !

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Lsamumofthree, May 20, 2020.

  1. Lsamumofthree

    Lsamumofthree New commenter

    Hi my Head wants to furlough all breakfast club staff from 1st June as there is no need for this provision for the moment.

    We are a c of e va school - can they do that ?

    have some very worried staff ! As we were told no change to our pay and now this !

    thank you
  2. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    They can, but they (most likely) won't get any extra money from the Government for it.

    The school has been given money by the Government to run a school. So they have already had 100% of the money to pay wages from the public purse, if they were to be given furlough cash as well they have essentially been paid twice. The Government have been very clear that publicly funded bodies won't be eligible.

    Private schools that are funded by parent fees are a different matter, but I think a CofE school gets its money from the Government.
    baitranger likes this.
  3. Lsamumofthree

    Lsamumofthree New commenter

    Thanks but we charge extra for breakfast club so could it be argued that the staff wages are paid from there ? And as there is no money coming in they could do it ?
  4. sooooexcited

    sooooexcited Established commenter

    They can furlough you. You'd be best off asking them for clarity.
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Being a bit picky, but the government have said public sector bodies aren't expected to furlough, not that they aren't eligible. For the reason you said, still receiving public funding for staff salaries.

    The exception is if staff are paid from 'commercial activities' not public money and the income from that has stopped. Then the school can furlough. That might the case in a breakfast club. In my school the breakfast club including pay of staff who run it is funded by what parents pay. We don't subsidise it from our delegated budget. So that might be a 'commercial activity' eligible for furlough.
    DYNAMO67, strawbs and diddydave like this.
  6. Lsamumofthree

    Lsamumofthree New commenter

    Thanks that’s what i suspected ! Luckily not much money for me but it is for others. Doesn’t leave a lot of goodwill to be honest !
  7. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    With the greatest of respect though, you are not funded from the school budget..... so I don’t think it’s a question of goodwill...
  8. TheHeadteachersOffice

    TheHeadteachersOffice New commenter

    No, they haven’t. State schools are able to furlough staff if they so choose. This will particularly be the case where you have a secondary source of income being used to pay wages for say, leisure staff.

    However, there is no prohibition on any member of staff being furloughed- the leisure attendants, cleaners, catering manager, office manager and teachers of practical subjects like art and drama that cannot be taught online have all been furloughed at my place. Others are likely to follow.
  9. averagedan

    averagedan Occasional commenter

    You had me going there for a bit, then I got to the bit about drama teachers and checked the username.

    Let me guess - your next step is to imprison them and feed them from a trough?
  10. Lsamumofthree

    Lsamumofthree New commenter

    Dynamo67 - erm the rest of me is funded from the schools budget !! so I most definitely will be working to my hours !
    Two weeks ago we were told there would be no impact on salaries and now there is an impact ! Luckily for me it isn’t a large proportion of my hours - others are not so lucky !
  11. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    If the school can top up the wages so no one loses out, I can see the sense in this.
    There is no breakfast club, so there is no need for staff for that role.

    But then I am in an independent and a fair number of staff are furloughed, so it doesn't feel as shocking.
  12. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    This is what is happening across the country. People are being furloughed, getting 80 per cent of their basic salary covered, and then being given the option of using up some of their salary to subsidize it or leaving it at that.

    For many who are not working in publicly funded organisations, they are desperate to get back to work because they know they will probably be made redundant.

    Teachers are fortunately being paid 100 per cent of their salaries and getting all their usual benefits such as pension contributions etc., if the situation changes and the government states they can no longer afford to do this, and teachers salaries are brought down, will attitudes to returning to the classroom change?
    TheHeadteachersOffice likes this.
  13. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    It should read,

    People are being furloughed, getting 80 per cent of their basic salary covered, and then being given the option of using up some of their holiday pay to subsidize it or leaving it at that.
  14. DYNAMO67

    DYNAMO67 Lead commenter

    I’m not denying that, but you get what I mean, dont you??

    School are responsible to the govt and society for their budget. That, for me, doesn’t include covering the cost of staff members not included in that budget. I know that sounds harsh, but schools have to be accountable
  15. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    They are fortunate that they are able to continue working albeit in very different circumstances, as many in other sectors who have not been furloughed have also been able to, in order to earn their salaries.

    It's worth noting the the furlough scheme also meets the pension contributions so those who are furloughed are not missing out on that either.
    TheHeadteachersOffice likes this.
  16. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    No they all don't! My friend who is being furloughed is only getting her basic pay at 80 per cent as this is ALL HMRC will fund. Can you imagine the costs of HMRC funding all of it i.e. the pension contributions, holiday entitlements etc.?

    Individual companies have the option to top it up to 100 per cent and pay the additional holiday and pension contributions etc. Many don't. A lot of companies have just made people redundant or given them severely reduced hours and pro rated their pay, creating financial hardship.

    Being furloughed varies from company to company and companies are in business to make and save money.

    What I am saying is that many who are furloughed, because they are only getting 80 per cent of their basic pay and using up their holiday entitlements to prop it up, are keen to get back to work and get their full salary plus all the benefits soon.

    Remember private pensions have been reduced as a result of the lockdown with around 5 to 20 per cent of values lost. Those working in the public sector, like teachers have their pensions secured, so that whatever has been lost will be covered by the state so they do not lose out.

    So those in the private sector have the double whammy of perhaps being furloughed/made redundant/having their hours reduced PLUS their investments and pensions reduced.

    The HMRC support for the self employed will cease 1st June and many will suffer hardship especially those in the entertainment, dining, beauty industries.

    It is great to be able to have the option to stay safe for a longer period on full pay and all your usual employment benefits whilst not having to work your full hours.

    Unfortunately, the government will at some point run out of money to allow this as it is costing billions and billions. I am just looking further down the line and wondering how this will pan out.
    Babycakes77 likes this.
  17. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    I forgot to mention HMRC does contribute to state pension but only at the statutory level which is a total of 5 percent of the salary. The employer pays 3 percent and the worker pays 2 per cent which isn't as generous as most company pensions or as many pensions in the public sector.

    So I and many who are furloughed regard this has not having their full pension rights, which are more important than ever due to the excessive losses made in the stock markets at the start of the lockdown.
    Babycakes77 likes this.
  18. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    I'd ask your friend to check because this page is clear that HMRC is covering Pension contributions:

    "Claim for 80% of your employee’s wages plus any employer National Insurance and pension contributions, if you have put them on furlough because of coronavirus (COVID-19)."

    If the company are claiming for it and not crediting to your friend's pension then that sounds suspiciously (to me) like fraud.

    Yes, and the support hasn't been that great in the first place. I no longer teach but set up my own company supplying divider screens for online examinations...and guess what...they cancelled them all so no sales this year. I also am an examiner, and again no income from that. I am on zero income at the moment. As I set up only a few years ago my average for the last 3 years, on which the help is based, is also approximately zero...so if I took up the offer I would be awarded 3 months of nothing.

    True, and many of my friends who are still teaching are working more hours than normal - particularly those who are technologically challenged and have had to learn all about these new ways of teaching online and providing feedback through a medium that is well out of their comfort zone.

    Very few companies that have furloughed staff have insisted that their staff cannot take up other employment and I've heard of a number who are now earning more by adding to their 80% for doing nothing by doing other work.

    I am fortunate in that my wife's pension added to the money I had put to one side to start the business and get us through any rough periods is enough to prevent us starving or being evicted.

    The push to get schools open, imo, has very little to do with an educational benefit to the pupils but more to allow their parents to get back to work - which in itself is a significant factor in pupil's well being but when you read the guidance that everyone at work, except in schools, should stick to 2m distancing and that if you cannot, unless you are in a school, you should wear a mask or other PPE then I am not surprised that anyone would look at that and ask questions about why the safety guidance does not apply to the workforce in schools and to then have those questions brushed aside with deflective reference to how the disease has minor effects on the pupils. I get that there is going to be in the near future in any job an extra level of risk due to this disease but that's no reason to ask people to face it without assessing and mitigating against it.
    baitranger likes this.
  19. catbefriender

    catbefriender Lead commenter

    @diddydave sorry that you were unable to get anything from the HMRC scheme for the self employed and you too are being financially disadvantaged by the pandemic.

    It says on the website

    employer minimum pension contributions

    which is what I referred to in the post above yours. Employer minimum pension contribution is a mere 3 per cent and the worker pays 2 per cent.

    I reiterate, if you have been unfortunate to have lost say £20,000 on your private pension due to the pandemic and are now getting 80 percent of your salary; having your boss contribute 3 per cent on top of that won't make up the £20,000 quickly. But if you are in that position, at least you still are getting an income, at the moment.

    For the majority of people in the UK right now, they need to be working full time and getting their full employer pension contributions and other benefits.
    Last edited: May 21, 2020
  20. diddydave

    diddydave Established commenter

    Never going to disagree with that, everyone is better off if they can work to earn a living but even with my entire business dependent on schools going back I do not want that to happen with unnecessary risk to the staff and pupils.

    Unfortunately all I have read and heard amounts to the brushing aside of what appear to be genuine concerns of those being asked to go into workplaces that will, according to Government guidance, have lower standards of workforce protection than any other.

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