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Author: Subject: Furlough, experience, thoughts and opinions?
nick205

posted on 2/4/20 at 11:46 AM Reply With Quote
Furlough, experience, thoughts and opinions?

In these strange times, there's an option for employers to place employees on furlough leave. The employer can then claim up to 80% of the employees salary (up to 2,500/month) whilst doing so.

I'm not asking people to say if they've been placed as such. I'm after people's thoughts on the scheme, good, bad or otherwise?

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Deckman001

posted on 2/4/20 at 12:08 PM Reply With Quote
Hi Nick,

I have recently been signed up for this scheme by my boss. It seamed a very easy thing to do from my end, but seeing as I don't work as a director of the company, I can't say how easy it was for him to set up via our accountant. I have heard though that as a director who gets paid via dividends from profits, he isn't able to get paid from the Furlough set up so will not get paid during these times that I and the workforce will be.

Hope this helps

Jason

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cliftyhanger

posted on 2/4/20 at 02:08 PM Reply With Quote
My wife works for a small ltd company. They have furlouged most of the staff, but kept my wife, her assistant and the office manager on payroll. My wife was asked to do the financial implications, and it was tricky. The govt will pay 80% of employment expenses, which is a little different to 80% of salary.

The company has real concerns, the directors are still working to earn whatever they can so it all stays afloat, and yes, as directors their salary is very small, most pay taken as dividends.

Plus side of teh furlough etc is that companies will hopefully have their staff all ready to return to work and get on with business once we return to more normal times, a big advantage over redundancies/bankruptcy etc. I know not everybody will stay in work, but far more than initially expected.

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steve m

posted on 2/4/20 at 04:52 PM Reply With Quote
I am a zero hours worker, (my choice, and its been fine so far)

we are social distancing, due health concerns for both myself and wife

As per the gov.uk site Zero hour workers are entitled to the 80%

In the real world, and I found this out this morning, that we are not entitled to anything, as the ones that decided not to go to work, as I had, are not entitled to a penny, however, the few reaming ones who did, until today, and have therefore made themselves available, will be paid the 80% from the government

However, as I have health issues, and had a call from the doctors to say that we should social distance, I am entitled
to the ssp of 94.50 a week, as off 17 March

Already some of my co workers are in the process of raising a grievance with the company

I am not going to copy the exact wordings, from my communication, to absolve me of ay court actions
But in line from GOV.uk and its plain to read, that if a company, lets say a restaurant has to close, as they all have, it is not the employees fault, and they will be paid,

But in my case, the company IS still operating, and we have decided not to go to work,

steve





Thats was probably spelt wrong, or had some grammer, that the "grammer police have to have a moan at




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perksy

posted on 2/4/20 at 07:36 PM Reply With Quote
Mate at works wife works for a childrens nursery and on the back of all this unrest have not only placed the staff on a furlough but they have also issued them with new contracts of employment with reduced terms & conditions

I wonder how many other companies will pursue this path and then turn around and blame the Caronavirus pandemic?

Hopefully not many...

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pekwah1

posted on 2/4/20 at 09:01 PM Reply With Quote
Hi,

Ive just been put on furlough, luckily my company has a good bankroll and although they havent ironed out the details with the government, they are honouring the 80%.
Sucks to have a pay cut although looking at the positive Im effectively on paid leave until they deem we can work again, Im personally happier with this than trying to work out what to do while working at home!!!

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snapper

posted on 2/4/20 at 10:05 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by perksy
Mate at works wife works for a childrens nursery and on the back of all this unrest have not only placed the staff on a furlough but they have also issued them with new contracts of employment with reduced terms & conditions

I wonder how many other companies will pursue this path and then turn around and blame the Caronavirus pandemic?

Hopefully not many...


Not legal, gov rules on this day that if the company is getting compensation for staff wages conditions should remain the same.
If you have a union talk to them, if you dont then refer to gov guidance.
The underlying principle is that the gov will compensate the employer for 80% of your basic wage.

I deal with this sort of thing and my comments are general because I would have to see what your original conditions if service were and what the employer wants to change them to.





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JC

posted on 3/4/20 at 07:08 AM Reply With Quote
My Son's workplace issued revised contracts last week for everyone to sign, giving them the power to send employees on unpaid leave or reduce the working week. They threatened to make anyone redundant that didnt sign them. He refused initially and insisted that a clause was inserted with a time limit on these powers - as he pointed out, they could have put him on unpaid leave, and then dismissed him making his notice period invalid. This week, most of the workforce have been furloughed and remaining staff put on a 4 day week. Hes praying that his apprenticeship is honoured as he is half way through his degree.....

However, without the government scheme, the company would have either closed or made almost everyone redundant.

I do have difficulty with the likes of Premier League football clubs using the scheme when they are paying players mega money still - I believe the PFA have stepped in to stop the players taking pay cuts even where players have themselves volunteered. Words fail me! The football authorities have missed a chance for a massive PR coup - they should negotiate a voluntary scheme where the top players donate a proportion to keep other staff, and smaller clubs in business.

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Mr Whippy

posted on 3/4/20 at 07:31 AM Reply With Quote
I'm working from home but my wife has been furlough which is superb as we longer have to worry about childminding costs and with the lack of any commuting to work, not taking the kids to places and a drastic reduction on shopping are now saving a lot of money
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James

posted on 3/4/20 at 11:13 AM Reply With Quote
My other half and I both work full-time so rely on a mix of grandparents, childminders, school and nursery in normal times- this has all made things rather challenging as like so many others we both work full-time but with all grandparents self-isolating and nursery/school closing we have been doing the now widespread working from home AND trying to educate a 5 year old whilst entertaining a 2 year old!

How those parents who are both working 9-5:30 have managed to work and educate without both failing at work AND their kids hating them I can't imagine- constantly telling little darlings to be quiet as you're Skyping someone can't be fun for anyone!

Instead, we've been doing a split day. She gets up and works from 6am-12 whilst I get the kids up, dressed, do P.E. with Joe Wicks at 9am. Then do maths/writing/reading (and 2 year old entertaining). At 12 we have lunch together. I then go and WFH 'smart working' as my company calls it until 7pm whilst she entertains the kids. Then we read bedtime stories etc and once kids are down we both hit the laptops again for an hour or 2.

After all that I can start doing some actual DIY which is what I thought I'd get a lot of when this first kicked off but have so far achieved very little.


Having said all this, as of Monday my missus is furloughed. This means a large pay cut but at least she keeps her job! If my company furlough's me I could actually get some DIY done and I'd give up 20% of my pay to work on the house full time!

Stay safe guys!!!

James





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Irony

posted on 3/4/20 at 02:23 PM Reply With Quote
I along with the 40ish other employees that I work with have all been furloughed. We work in the events industry and I work has effectively dropped to absolute zero. As senior management I saw the company I have helped build over the last 20 years literally crash with zero income. Furloughing had saved the business going under but it is costing the MD hundreds of thousands even with furloughing staff. We have 15 vehicles from vans to trucks and ultra wide format printers sitting idle. By good management we do not however have huge overheads unlike a lot of companies. The MD has said he will plough everything he has short of losing is family home to keep it alive. One of my saddest days in my working life was watching the MD picking up litter in our yard with all the vehicles in the background. Each vehicle has SORNED written across the windscreen.

Even with furloughing there will be huge numbers of businesses that still have overheads. Loans repayments, leases, hire purchase of equipment that still need paying.

Furloughing is a amazing step taken by the government but I fear a lot of companies will collapse if the lockdown continues for 3 months plus.

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red22

posted on 3/4/20 at 02:49 PM Reply With Quote
Yep. We've just been put on it. My company is still paying is 100% but I'm assuming this is impossible to last for long, but I'm quite happy sitting at home for 80%.

Whilst I'm ok I would suspect lots won't be. When I was young we needed 120% just to stay afloat. This is unsustainable.

I also hope everyone realises that this isn't free cash the government are giving out, there will be a massive bill that we'll be paying for, for a long time.

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coyoteboy

posted on 3/4/20 at 03:36 PM Reply With Quote
I'm currently working from home with no real impact.

I know there are plenty of people who are having to shield themselves due to medical reasons, but who the government won't cover because they are not on the official "at risk" group. There's thousands in this boat. Therefore they either choose to go to work and risk death, or they choose to only get SSP, if their company isn't helpful. And when the lockdown is eased, those people will still be at massive risk by being expected back in the office with the general public, but still not allowed to remain shielded.

Not great for them.

[Edited on 3/4/20 by coyoteboy]





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steve m

posted on 3/4/20 at 05:54 PM Reply With Quote
I am on ssp. but thankfully, we don't owe any money, own the house outright, as mortgage free, so its just the running of the house in the normal bills so the 94.50 a week for 12 weeks will help, not ideal, but I am no were in a position of poverty

Some are, one of my fellow workers is in deep shit, hes 50, no savings, rented accommodation, no income, as we are not on Furlough, he has already been told by his landlord, that anymore than two months missed payments, he is homeless,

I really feel for him, he is a terrific mate, and just someone who has bumbled along in life, with out a real purpose, has no family that he is in contact with, we all know these types of individuals, and its incredibly sad, to the point a few nights ago, I was awake just worrying about his situation pretty well al night, ive set aside 500 in an envelope, that he can have, but judging by the whats app comments and texts, I don't think he will be around much longer

Some of us are extremely lucky, some of us will struggle through, and it will be painful some of us

I don't even want to say

steve





Thats was probably spelt wrong, or had some grammer, that the "grammer police have to have a moan at




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red22

posted on 3/4/20 at 06:08 PM Reply With Quote
That's why I'm with Sweden on this one.

Also why do the majority of people think you can't work unless you're essential?

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daviep

posted on 3/4/20 at 10:03 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by red22
That's why I'm with Sweden on this one.

Also why do the majority of people think you can't work unless you're essential?


In what way are you "with Sweden"?

How do you know what the majority of people think? Beacuse this is certainly not what the majortity of people I know think!


Cheers
Davie





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MikeR

posted on 3/4/20 at 10:27 PM Reply With Quote
I'm a director of a limited company and finished my last contract in late december.

Didn't go looking for work too much in Jan as i needed a break. Ive watched the market evaporate in feb. Now in a position with no income and no way of claiming any of the money the government is offering. Financially not broken yet, luckily the mortgage is paid off due to health insurance payout a few years ago.

I'm expecting this to take 6 months before the lockdown starts to relax and 12 to 18 months before we're getting back to normal. How my family copes - i'm not sure, but i think we can survive it. I do appreciate we're in a very fortunate position and i worry about others.

What no one needs to underestimate is how hard or long this has the potential to be, and how different life will be when its over. Expect a lot of social changes and a massive shift in taxation. If we thought the bank crash of 2008 was bad, i think this will be worse and take another 10 years to recover from.

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craig1410

posted on 4/4/20 at 12:45 AM Reply With Quote
@MikeR - I'm also a Director of my own limited company (since 2011) and understand your position all too well. Many people think that people like us only have limited companies so we can dodge tax and avoid responsibility but the fact is that you can't operate as a freelancer in the IT industry as a sole trader and I'm sure that's also the same in other industries. As for responsibility, the letter we get every year to file annual returns with threats of 5000 fines or jail terms in red lettering are quite sobering!

You quite rightly took a break between contracts because I know from my own experience that it's really hard to take breaks when you know that you don't get paid for time off, which isn't a healthy situation. In my first year as a contractor I only took 13 days off in the entire year! Not sustainable as I discovered. Even today though I still struggle to get more than 20 days a year off compared to 35 or so when I was an employee.

I've been working as a contractor for several clients continuously since 2011, sometimes working for more than one client at a time and have worked hard to accumulate some retained profits in the company to act as a small insurance policy.

However, in common with many limited company directors, I pay myself a small salary (around 8.5k) and then top this up from dividends which depends on company profits. I try to minimise my dividends as much as possible, partly by paying into my pension fund which will reduce the burden I place on the state in retirement and partly by restraint. If I pay myself too much in dividends then I incur higher rate tax (and rightly so). However, in unprecedented times like this, people like me basically fall through the cracks as I'm sure many others do.

We are not "self-employed" so we don't benefit from the protections announced by the chancellor last week. But we are also only employed on a very small salary and if we furlough ourselves we can't operate our companies so the job retention scheme is of limited value. Basically we are placed in a position where we have to eat into retained profits to keep paying ourselves when there is reduced or no income coming in from our clients. But legally we can't continue to draw dividends if our companies are no longer profitable.

Don't get me wrong, I still feel very fortunate to have that capital in my company to support me for the time being but the government is trying to increase taxation on independent contractors via IR35 legislation and it's not fair to be taxed the same as employees when we clearly don't have the same protections as employees (sick pay, paid holidays, notice periods, supplied equipment, government bailouts, etc).

I'm very lucky in that my client of 4 years hasn't terminated my contract but has imposed a 25% reduction across the board (contractor and employees) with a number of layoffs as well. They are evaluating the situation month by month and have activated everyone's notice clauses so technically anyone can be let go without further notice. It's very unsettling, especially as my wife and I just bought our "forever house" in December and had to extend our finances significantly to secure it. We're okay for now but the future is so uncertain we just don't know what to expect.

In many ways I feel guilty for sitting in front of a computer creating software when I feel as if I should be spending my time volunteering to help people in more practical ways. My wife is a primary school teacher and is working hard to support parents and children who are now isolated at home. I justify it to myself by saying that those of us who are able to stimulate the economy should certainly do so because the money we earn is then spent in the local economy and puts money in other people's pockets. This is especially the case for me because my client is overseas based so I'm literally bringing revenue into the UK.

Anyway, I agree with you Mike that this is going to push us into October or thereabouts before lockdowns start to back off and it'll be into 2021 before we see any signs of "normality" returning. I'm confident the government will continue to provide support to furloughed workers because the alternative of massive unemployment isn't tenable.

Stay safe folks and do what you can to stay physically and mentally healthy. Try to look for the good in people and try to set good examples as we all try to get through this. A simple smile as you give someone 2m of space to pass you in the supermarket is important and comforting. Look out for vulnerable people and try to help them as best you can.

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red22

posted on 4/4/20 at 05:09 AM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by daviep


In what way are you "with Sweden"?

How do you know what the majority of people think? Beacuse this is certainly not what the majortity of people I know think!


Cheers
Davie


Ok. First point easy. Sweden is carrying on as normal, bar a few restrictions. Keeping businesses closed is unsustainable it will wreck the economy. If you thought that bailing out the bank's was costly, it will pale into insignificance to this.

Second point. I'm basing this on everyone I work(ed) with, my company and what seems to be all news outlets.

On 23 March, Boris took great pains to tell is all that unless we were essential to stay at home. My own Company did just that. Not that it wanted to

That statement was completely incorrect, by the governments own advice.

Not a genius for links so you'll have to copy and paste for the precise wording.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others/full-guidance-on-staying-at-home-and-away-from-others

But basically says if you can work from home good. If you can't then it's perfectly ok to travel to work and work when you get there. I'll admit this was news to me and that I didn't find out until yesterday but this has been there since the 23rd. Seems my Company didn't either.

Shame that this is not part of the information constantly provided.

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steve m

posted on 4/4/20 at 07:48 AM Reply With Quote
@ Redd22

If I am reading your comments right, and it just IMHO

You think that we should ALL be doing the normal thing, as in work, school, commute just like we all did 2 months ago ??

Is this what you are saying, and that Boris, and the politicions have got all of this Covid virus wrong ?

steve





Thats was probably spelt wrong, or had some grammer, that the "grammer police have to have a moan at




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cliftyhanger

posted on 4/4/20 at 08:12 AM Reply With Quote
Doesn't take a genius to work out why the govt is asking people to stay at home.

Sweden is an odd one, it will be interesting how that pans out. They seem to be a couple of weeks behind many other European countries. It may come back to bite them, but I have not looked at their health stats or indeed their population makeup.

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red22

posted on 4/4/20 at 08:12 AM Reply With Quote
Yes I do. If you don't that's fair enough, we've all got differing opinions/thoughts on this.

I take it you didn't read the link or summary? I'm just repeating the governments published advice. That is their view, I'm not ignoring or inventing anything.

"Everybody" is happy going out, quite happy using Amazon, eBay, ASOS or whatever. These people are working, nothing particularly essential about the items they sell.

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steve m

posted on 4/4/20 at 08:21 AM Reply With Quote
Well we are staying in, as we both are at risk, im not being paid and I don't care, our lives are more important

I do hope all the pondlifes and retards who don't think that this current situation we are in is funny or just a load of nonsense go to the beach this weekend and cross infect every one around them, as this will be the only way to stop the virus as early as possible

All of the people who are taking it seriously will still be around to enjoy a country devoid of idiots

just mho

steve





Thats was probably spelt wrong, or had some grammer, that the "grammer police have to have a moan at




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red22

posted on 4/4/20 at 08:32 AM Reply With Quote
Feel free to stay in, I'm not the one giving the advice.

Just seems people are equating catching a flu like virus to a death sentence. Which it isn't.

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perksy

posted on 4/4/20 at 08:45 AM Reply With Quote
To be fair I think Boris will look at it in another 10 days or so and then decide whats next
Like most politicians he'll look at the figures and then say it either gets worse or we can have just a little bit more leeway

I've never seen our A&E dept or outpatients depts so quiet
Sadly there will have to be a massive catch-up of appointments etc when this is eventually all over

I remember Matt Hancock the health minister saying at the start of all this that the NHS had been planning for this for 10 years
which is Total and utter nonsense
We're learning more about this virus by the day and the PPE guidelines are changing as often


I'm also reading with interest some of the conspiracy theories online at the moment and read one that was quite detailed the other day about how the Chinese had invented Coronavirus to enable them to start taking over various world companies and how their economy is bouncing back already
Not saying I believed any of it, but it was pretty detailed in what it said...

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