23 April: Job Retention Scheme or 'furloughing’ arrangements

Issued: Thu, 23 Apr 2020 11:29:00 BST

Due to the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government has announced measures to support organisations across the country through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.  The scheme provides support to UK employers in paying staff who might otherwise have been laid off, which involves placing particular groups of staff on ‘furlough leave’ where work is unavailable or cannot be carried out remotely.

The University truly values the ongoing support and contribution of colleagues employed in various capacities across the University who are unable to undertake their duties at this time for a variety of reasons.  This Scheme will assist in enabling us to continue to retain and support colleagues during these unprecedented and challenging times.

Accordingly, colleagues engaged in roles that are potentially in scope for inclusion in the furloughing scheme have been determined by line managers across the University in consultation with HR colleagues on a case by case basis.  These discussions have taken into consideration a range of factors in accordance with the rules of the Scheme.  This includes roles in which work cannot productively be undertaken remotely, roles funded through commercial or external sources and other roles subject to certain qualifications in accordance with Scheme guidance.  This could include ‘volunteers’ such as those with caring responsibilities who are unable to work remotely.  This exercise has been undertaken in consultation with the Campus recognised trade unions.

Staff who are placed on furlough leave through the Scheme will continue to receive full pay, including additional benefits such as pension contributions with the HMRC reimbursing the University up to 80% of salary, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

Due to the evolving nature of the pandemic, the Job Retention Scheme has been introduced as a temporary measure until 30 June 2020, which may subject to review at a later date.  The furlough arrangements applicable to colleagues who are placed on furlough leave will be dependent upon the period that the lockdown remains in place.  The Scheme specifies that furloughing arrangements can be applied for a minimum length of three weeks.

Colleagues placed on furlough leave will be notified accordingly by their line manager and will shortly receive a letter with full details of the Scheme and the details of the furlough arrangements applicable to their role.  Should you have any questions in this regard these should be discussed with your line manager in the first instance.  Local HR Teams remain available to provide further advice and guidance as required.

  • Full details of the Job Retention Scheme [including policy guidance, a process map and a supporting toolkit]

Thank you once again to everyone for your unstinting support and commitment to the University through these difficult and uncertain times.

Christine Barr

Executive Director of Human Resources