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Urgent: daily supply, paid by agy - furloughing

Discussion in 'Supply teaching' started by ellenlilymay, Apr 25, 2020.

  1. ellenlilymay

    ellenlilymay New commenter

    Hi everyone - I hope you are all well.

    I am a daily supply teacher, not on any short- or long-term assignment and paid by my agency direct, who take a small % of my wages for admin. I'm quite happy with this arrangement and they are a good agency, at least until now. I am not paid by them through an umbrella company.

    I've contacted them about being furloughed and they've sent me a link which I've not opened yet but can anyone tell me what I would be letting myself in for, as a daily supply, as regards furloughing? I feel I need to sort this asap. At the current time obviously I have very little income.

    I don't want to be tied or pressured to going back to working for them before I feel the time is right, as I am an older teacher with an underlying condition. I'd prefer to decide for myself when it is safe having assessed the risks.

    Does anyone have any experience of daily supply and furloughing and what it entails? Apologies if this question has been asked already. Please explain to me as if I am a 4-year-old!!! Many thanks indeed!
  2. pepper5

    pepper5 Star commenter


    This is so very complicated and there are at least three thread started on it on this forum. You can see almost 100 people have viewed your question and no one knows!

    If I were you, I would glance through some of these threads.

    Start with the link from your umbrella company as that will explain their position.

    Regarding money and what you need until you start back to work/get money from Job Retention Scheme (JRT,) ensure you put back any money for food first. That is your priority. Then utilities, shelter and transport in that order.

    There are grants available from various places but you will have to research these. I would start with your union.

    www.turn2us.org is an organisation that has a lot of useful information for people who may need assistance. Their information is well written and easy to understand ; I believe there is an article on there about the JRT.

    When I was reading their information the other day, they had written something that is helpful: "If you do not ask, you will not get."

    Now is a good time to sort through all your finances and check you are getting the best deal for all your insurance/utilities/subscriptions etc.
    gingerhobo48 and agathamorse like this.
  3. peakster

    peakster Star commenter

    Any money you can get at the moment - apply for it. There will be very little day-to-day work for the rest of this academic year.
    gingerhobo48, agathamorse and pepper5 like this.
  4. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    My agency contacted me. I had work up to half term. They rang school this week on the offchance. I am furloughed for 3 weeks. First pay on Friday as it would have been after Easter if I was still working. After 3 weeks they'll try contacting schools again.

    You should click on the link if you've been sent one. You have to give consent to furlough. NEU were doing a survey to see how it was going for Supply Teachers.
    gingerhobo48 and pepper5 like this.
  5. Deirds

    Deirds Senior commenter

    I think to answer your question they decide a time and then review. If you have told them you're self shielding do they think you're off sick? You may need expert advice on this.
    gingerhobo48 and pepper5 like this.
  6. Happyregardless

    Happyregardless Occasional commenter

    I am also mainly a day to day supply teacher but I have been furloughed by two agencies ( although not received any payment from one as of yet!). I am not paid by an umbrella company, just through PAYE . - I hope this helps. I am also an 'older teacher' - this shouldn't make any difference ( although I a wel aware it does within schools on perm contracts!) you do the same job just with more experience - which in my opinion shouold be valued as it is in other industries.
    gingerhobo48 and pepper5 like this.
  7. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    I have been told indirectly that I am not being furloughed. (We were told to await an email and yesterday that day passed....nothing for me in my inbox)

    As you, I worked day-to-day and admittedly not much but I have asked the agency to explain why they are not putting me on the retention scheme.

    I still cannot get why agencies don't just apply for everyone on their PAYE and if the government won't pay me due to lack of previous work that is easier for me to accept than the agency doing so.
  8. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    I’m still waiting to hear if I’m being furloughed. I haven’t worked through the agency since December 2019 however I am still on their books and therefore fulfill (I think) the criteria.
    I’ll be asking my Union for assistance if the agency aren’t forthcoming.
    gingerhobo48 and pepper5 like this.
  9. dumpty

    dumpty Star commenter

    You do - we all do. One of my fears was agencies - not used to doing things for free - would not want to deal with the paperwork for too many clients and it appears so.

    I had a good chat with a decent lawyer yesterday and he was saying there are many complaints of zero hour workers/supply teachers being told they cannot be put on the retention scheme but that yes, this is blatantly wrong as anyone on PAYE the last tax year can and should be put on it.

    Either someone will test it in the courts or it could be lobbying of MPs will get movement, either in a dictate to agencies to stop overdoing their right to select, or an appeal process.

    It is a stupid system though as it gives so much power to the employer when all that is really needed is we send our P60s in and be done with it.

    How an agency can decide not to help anyone on their books last tax year by simply filing the papers for them is beyond me.
    greeneyes likes this.
  10. greeneyes

    greeneyes Occasional commenter

    Well I definitely paid tax through that agency. I’m still waiting to hear from them but I’ve contacted my union for help if the agency don’t say anything further.
    dumpty likes this.

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