The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
In response to the crisis, the Government launched the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (the Scheme) for UK employers. The Scheme is intended as an emergency measure to support employers who have been severely affected by the Covid-19 outbreak by enabling them to continue to pay staff who they otherwise may have needed to make redundant or lay off without pay due to the implications of the Covid-19 situation.
The University remains committed to doing all we can to mitigate the need to make compulsory redundancies and it is, therefore, important that we take steps to ensure we are able to sustain the employment of our staff at this time. One step in doing this will be to make an application through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for support with staff employment costs where those staff members are furloughed due to being unable to carry out work for the University as a direct result of the Covid-19 situation.
The term furloughing explained
The term ‘furlough’ is used in the United States to describe a temporary leave of employees due to special needs of a company or employer, which may be due to economic conditions at the specific employer or in the economy as a whole. The UK's Chancellor has adopted this term when setting out the arrangements to support employers during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The University’s approach to furloughing
There are a number of roles at the University, all of which are extremely valuable during normal operations, but which are very difficult or impossible to carry out when we have been asked to work from home as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak. In addition, the activity on campus has scaled back considerably as students are now studying remotely. As a result, the University will be working to identify staff who are unable to work due to the current Covid-19 outbreak and for whom furloughing may be appropriate. We will contact staff who have been identified for furloughing from week commencing 27 April 2020.
Staff with caring responsibilities/who are shielding/need to stay home with someone who is shielding
Employees who are unable to undertake any work due to caring responsibilities/shielding/needing to stay home with someone who is shielding, arising from the covid-19 situation, can request to be considered for furloughing. However, in considering whether these employees can be furloughed and an application made to the Job Retention Scheme the overriding principles of the Government guidance about public funding will apply first (see FAQs for more information) when considering any requests received. Requests can be made via the caring responsibilities form or the shielding request form.