New starter not eligible for Government's furlough scheme

The Government furlough scheme went into operation today. Chancellor Rishi Sunak says over 140,000 companies have applied for the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

It will give employees an income, even if their employers cannot afford it by paying 80% of staff members' wages, up to £2500 a month.

Thousands of businesses are using it to retain staff while they're forced to close but the scheme isn't working for everyone.

Sajan Devshi left his job at Loughborough based Charnwood Borough Council on the 14th March.

Under the eligibility criteria for the furlough scheme, his new workplace can't furlough him as he hasn't been there long enough - it would need to be the council.

But so far, they have refused and with no income, Sajan is having to live out of his savings.

I am extremely frustrated, I did some really good work for the council. To effectively make this request, which I think is perfectly reasonable and to have the local council refuse this scheme, considering it's come from the Government, doesn't really bode well for private businesses then.

Mr Devshi

The council say that their understanding of the criteria means they cannot furlough Sajan because he was doing public sector work and because they have already advertised his position they cannot offer him anything, even something temporary.

Meanwhile, Mr Sunak said: “HMRC opened the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme at eight o’clock this morning. As of four o’clock this afternoon, over 140,000 firms have applied and the grants they will receive will help pay the wages of more than a million people.

“A million people who if they hadn’t been furloughed would have been at risk of losing their job.

“Firms applying today should receive their cash in six working days. HMRC will continue to provide updates on the number of people furloughed.”

With regards to the issue of furloughing, it is our view that while technically the Council can furlough employees this will only qualify for government funding where the post is related to non-public sector work such as in commercial settings and operations. That is not the case in this situation.

Council statement

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