Dear Strathclyde colleagues,
I hope this message finds you and your family well in these challenging times.
In recent weeks, a number of you have been in touch to ask if the University intends to use the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (also known as Furlough) for staff who are not able to work on campus or at home due to the current pandemic and the nature of their work. You may have already heard of the furlough scheme through wider news coverage in the media and know that it allows, assuming certain conditions are met, employers to place staff on temporary leave and to access a grant to cover 80% of their salary during the temporary leave period.
The Scottish Funding Council has confirmed that universities are eligible to participate in the Scheme and has encouraged universities to give full consideration to its use as part of their strategies to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on their finances. By using the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Universities are able to access financial support for the payment of staff salaries at a time when there is an impact on the Higher Education Sector’s ability to continue with some of its operations and, therefore, its overall finances.
Some aspects of the University’s normal operations have been impacted significantly by the Coronavirus outbreak and as a result there are a number of roles, all of which are extremely valuable during normal operations, which are difficult to carry out while the current government restrictions are in place. Following careful consideration and discussion with the Campus Trade Unions, the University has decided to use the Scheme for these roles in a careful and people-oriented way. We anticipate that a few hundred of our staff who occupy roles which cannot be carried out due to Coronavirus will be eligible for furlough. Any staff member who is placed on a period of furlough will continue to receive their full pay as standard and will continue to be a University employee. The key difference is that the University is able to claim back a percentage of their salary from the Government.
If, following further discussions with Heads of Department/School and the Trade Unions, your role is identified as a post which could be appropriately furloughed, you will receive a letter by email or by post to inform you of this. Please don’t worry about this or read anything further into the use of this important government scheme – being ‘furloughed’ will not leave you worse off. A set of Frequently Asked Questions to give you further information are being finalised and will be sent with your letter.
If you are one of the individuals who receive a letter about furlough and have any concerns whatsoever, the HR Team are on hand to help. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on our voice mail 0141 548 4476 and we’ll call you back.
Best wishes to you all at this time.
Chief People Officer