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The sector joins forces for our umbrella employees

Paul Malley

Paul Malley | Managing Director

Thursday 9th Apr, 2020

The updated Government guidance on the 4th April was welcomed by the sector as it confirmed that eligible umbrella workers were included in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

However, there is still confusion within the sector regarding how an umbrella employee’s furlough pay should be calculated. The issue is that it remains open to interpretation as to how the various pay terms relate to umbrella employees.

Where is the confusion?

We need clarification from the government as to whether an umbrella employee’s furlough pay should be calculated on an average of all earnings or just basic pay (National Minimum Wage). Our interpretation of the new guidance is that it intended to be the average of all earnings, however we need clarification from the Government on this point and we are fighting hard to get it for each and every one of our umbrella employees.

The sector has joined forces to fight for clarification

We have been working with all five of the sectors leading professional bodies – APSCo, FCSA, Professional Passport, REC and TEAM – who have joined forces in a bid to get our voice heard by government. The sooner we can get clarification the better so that our umbrella employees can be paid quickly, fairly and correctly.

Julia Kermode, Chief Executive of the FCSA said:

“The issues facing our respective members are very similar; they are keen to support workers but are unable to do so without clarity from the government, therefore, working together is the best approach to get the assurance our members need. We don’t believe that the government is deliberately putting barriers up but at the same time there are very significant risks to all of our respective members if they misinterpret the financial calculations of furloughing workers.”

“Given that our members all operate large scale payrolls, even a small error could be very significant for those businesses, equating easily to several million pounds. That is why we have sought to work with the government to bring clarity, urgently and ultimately to enable workers to be supported at this difficult time.”

Further information and our advice for our umbrella employees regarding furlough pay can be found here.

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Related article - COVID-19: Umbrella employee guidance

Information regarding measures introduced by Government to help employees through the COVID-19 crisis including furlough pay and what that means for umbrella employees.

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