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furlough or contingency?

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by dobrze, Apr 8, 2020.

  1. dobrze

    dobrze New commenter

    i work for 3 agencies as a Primary supply teacher. One of them has said they are definitely putting me on furlough and I think the another one is too. However I had a phone call with the third agency asking why I hadn't received any information as to what was happening or why they had not replied to my request to put on furlough. Her reply was that I was considered a contingency worker and that the schools should be funding my pay instead!! As if schools would! Nothing in writing of course to confirm this and yet it mentions the Government Job Retention scheme on their website.
    Has anyone else had similar experience?
  2. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    The key question is whose payroll were you on at 28th February? Who was paying you money for jobs secured through that agency in the 12 months up to 28/2/2020? And who was deducting the tax under PAYE?

    If the school was paying you direct and deducting tax under PAYE it's likely you will be on their payroll and they must furlough you. If the agency was paying you as your employer and the agency was deducting PAYE tax then it is they who can furlough you.

    That's my understanding but I'm not an expert. Get advice from your union asap.

    I don't think 'furlough or contingency' is a valid question, it's not one of those or the other. 'Contingency workers' is a generic expression for anyone who carries out work for public sector organisation but isn't a permanent employee. So it includes people such as freelancers, people subject to IR35 and consultants as well as zero hours employees employed on PAYE employment contracts through agencies and umbrella companies. Being a 'contingency worker ' doesn't mean the agency/umbrella company isn't the employer who should furlough you.

    However I believe that in government-speak at the moment they have a contingent workers scheme for paying 80% that only applies to contingent workers not on PAYE pay arrangements
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2020
    pepper5 likes this.
  3. dobrze

    dobrze New commenter

    Thanks for that. But my question was raised furlough or contigency as they seem 2 different schemes. The manager that wants to treat me as a contingency worker says that there is no money for furloughing workers and is desperately contacting schools to pay me?? It sounded dodgy to me.
    I'm not using an umbrella company all three agencies deduct my PAYE and I was working from that crucial period. Have contacted my union hope they can shed light on this.
    pepper5 likes this.
  4. Kateray1

    Kateray1 Occasional commenter

    I work for an agency and was employed before the cutoff date. I am not being furloughed because I have a long term contract with two schools until end of May.
    pepper5 likes this.
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    I thought I'd answered that. If you were an employee of the agency on PAYE on 28/2/2020 then the furlough scheme applies to you. The agency is just trying to avoid doing anything. It probably has a cash flow problem as well as it would have to fund furlough payments until the HMRC scheme for reclaiming them starts up (but other agencies, according to posters on here, are solving that simply by saying they won't pay furlough money until HMRC pays them). Keep chasing your union.

    There is a 'Contingent Workers Scheme' (here) but it only applies to central government departments, not to schools or councils.
    pepper5 likes this.
  6. dobrze

    dobrze New commenter

    Thanks Rott Weiler, My union were very helpful and have clarified it for me.
    pepper5 likes this.
  7. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    Hi @dobrze

    Could you summarise your union's advice (anonymously of course)?

    It could be helpful for others who find themselves in the same position.

    Which union?
    pepper5 likes this.

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