Updated information about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (80% pay)

Updated information about the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (80% pay)

Our senior team is working through the details of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, also referred to as the 80% pay entitlement.

We are responding to the government’s daily briefings to make sure we implement the scheme in full.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is only open to people at risk of lay off / redundancy because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government scheme is to support both employers and employees.

If a company needs to lay off staff as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, it can instead choose to claim a grant of 80% of the employees’ wage costs (up to £2,500 per month). The employee can be paid this and they will be ‘furloughed’.

If you are furloughed, you may not do any other work during the furlough time.

You will have to pay tax and national insurance on the furlough pay.

Any payment you receive will be subject to your normal income tax and employee national insurance deductions.

If you are enrolled in the pension scheme, you will continue to pay your personal pension contributions. If you want to make any changes to your pension payments, or you have questions about your pension, please contact your pension provider.

Who will be allowed to join the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

VGC will offer the scheme to people on sites that are closed as a result of the coronavirus.

We will email you directly to explain your options.

You must meet the government’s eligibility criteria to join the scheme. These include:

  • You must be paid PAYE directly by VGC (eg on a contract of employment, or on a contract for services).
  • HMRC must have received your tax payment summary (RTI) on or before 19 March.

For VGC staff:

  • For VGC weekly paid staff, our last RTI submission was Friday 13 March. So we can only furlough staff who joined before Friday 6 March 2020.
  • For VGC monthly paid staff, our last RTI submission was 25 February, so they must have joined VGC before 25 February 2020.

Where a site is still open we cannot offer the scheme.

If you are furloughed

If VGC ‘furloughs’ you, your assignment is effectively put ‘on hold’. You will still be employed, and your continuity of employment will not be affected.

We will be able to pay 80% of your wage – up to £2,500 per month.

You do not have to attend your work place, but you must remain contactable so you can return to work when we ask you.

If you are self-isolating or sick

If you live with someone who has coronavirus, or you have symptoms, you must follow government guidance and self-isolate. This is for the good of yourself, your family, and the general public. You must fill in the SC2 or isolation form and send it to hr@vgcgroup.co.uk – see the guidance and links on the COVID-19 absence reporting web page. We will ensure that you will be paid sick pay (SSP) from day 1 of your illness or self-isolation when we receive these forms.

You can only get the 80% pay when your period of self-isolation is completed, and if your site is closed.

How is VGC paying for furlough?

We are reclaiming this money from the government. Without this government support we could not keep paying our workforce. We cannot afford to top up your pay to 100%.

You do not need to do anything until we email you.

We are emailing those people to whom we will offer the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. We are sending emails from 1 April 2020.

If you receive an email, and you want to join the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you must click to accept within 48 hours.

Please note: we will always include your name in any emails to you about the scheme. If you get an email without your name, please be cautious – it may be a scam.

How long will the 80% pay entitlement last?

The government has said the scheme will be in place for three months from 1 March 2020. It may be extended.

If you are furloughed, we will keep in touch and let you know when you can come back to work.

We all hope to be back to business as normal as soon as we can. However, this depends on the way the COVID-19 outbreak develops. We do not know how long the government coronavirus restrictions will last.

If you do not want to be furloughed

If you are on a CIJC WRA contract of employment, we can

  • implement clause 17.4 of the working rule agreement for temporary layoff. Note that this is not as good for you financially as the coronavirus job retention scheme.
  • or we can make your job redundant.

If you are on a contract for services, and you do not want to be furloughed, we will immediately bring your assignment to an end.

For more information

VGC sends an email at 4pm (16:00) every day. Please check your junk mail filters to make sure you are not missing it. If you find an email from VGC in your junk or spam box, please mark it ‘not spam’.

You can also get further guidance from the government website – www.gov.uk

If you have any queries, please email hr@vgcgroup.co.uk and we will reply as soon as possible.