Until now the term ‘furlough’ has not carried any real meaning but has quickly risen to the top of most of the public’s conversation lists in response to the unprecedented situation presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. The government introduced the furlough scheme to provide employers with financial support to avoid mass lay offs and redundancies sweeping the country.
Initially the rules were unknown and our candidates (like other agency staff out there) did not assume that they would qualify. When it emerged that the scheme would include agency workers paid by PAYE, we naturally received a rise in calls and emails from our workers as to whether they were personally eligible to receive furlough pay.
Furloughing agency workers is an optional scheme for businesses. We took the position that “we are in this together” and despite the work involved and pressures on cash flow until the government payments arrived, we were keen to support our candidates and would (where possible) support everyone eligible for the scheme.
With most our own staff furloughed, our MD Rebecca Bird has taken over Payroll and processed a huge volume of claims. Rebecca is working relentlessly to investigate eligibility and then to prepare and process payments in a timely manner. From a payroll point of view she is in uncharted territory and the whole process is not an easy one!
It would appear that some agencies have decided not to furlough workers, mainly due to the cash flow implications and work load in an already tough time. For us, we are determined to do what we can to support local people, in particular our workers who have worked so hard for us – some for the last 7 years!
We are delighted to confirm that we are receiving many lovely emails and telephone calls from candidates who have felt really supported during this. Sometimes a simple thank you goes a long way! As a business we are very proud as to how we have responded to the Covid-19 pandemic and would like to say thank you to Rebecca for her hard work over the last 4 weeks on behalf of our candidates and staff.
We are pleased to share some of the lovely comments and testimonials we have received which have been great to receive during a difficult and strange time…
“I would just like to say how impressed I am with the way my furlough has been negotiated on my behalf by systems people and their fantastic payroll team [and] I am truly delighted with the whole system.
It has been a seamless and effortless procedure (which I know it is actually hard work for them) and has helped myself and family relax more at what is an extremely difficult time to us all. Many thanks!” Nicola, Secondary Supply Teacher
“I am currently a temporary employee and have been lucky enough to be furloughed. I have received regular emails to keep me up to date with the latest situation. It is a nice feeling to know there is someone I can get in touch with if I need to by telephone or email and this helps me feel much less isolated. I have found System People to be very professional and friendly and I hope it’s not too long before I have work with them again. Thank you so much for everything. Stay safe. Alison, Primary Teacher
“I have been happy with the help and support I have received from System People during the Corona virus lock down. They have provided information, and answered all my questions, quickly and accurately. Thank you to the team for all they have done in these difficult circumstances, and particular thanks to Sarah and Rebecca who secured ongoing employment for me during this time.”Primary Teacher
We believe that we have contacted all of those candidates registered with us who are eligible for the Corona Virus Job Retention Scheme and have processed pay for these who qualify. Thank you for your cooperation as we investigated and processed the payments.
System People Team