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FCSA statement on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

FCSA welcomes the job retention scheme, which we understand will be applicable to umbrella employers.  There are a number of points on which we are seeking urgent clarification from the government, in particular regarding how to calculate the furlough pay rate for workers who’s income varies. 

Most umbrella employment contracts state the pay rate as national minimum wage plus a variable bonus / commission / additional pay, the intention of which is to enable the umbrella employee to undertake multiple assignments at different pay rates for different end-clients. 

We are aware that the job retention scheme guidance states that bonuses and commission should be excluded from the furlough pay calculation, which means that umbrella employees may only be able to receive 80% of national minimum wage.  We believe that this is grossly unfair, and we also hope that this is not the government’s intention. 

We are actively lobbying on behalf of the 625k umbrella employees seeking to ensure that they can receive furlough pay based on their average earnings, and not solely the NMW portion.  We strongly encourage any affected umbrella employee to make their MP aware of the situation, who in turn should write to the Treasury with their concerns.  Doing this urgently will strengthen our collective voice. 

We will update our position as soon as we have any firm clarification from the government.