University announces furlough scheme

The University has announced that it will be applying the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), that allows employers to ‘furlough’ staff during the current emergency, and to recover a proportion of salary costs in order to protect jobs.

Since the scheme was announced, guidance on its application and scope, particularly in the HE Sector, has been developing and the University is now in a position to share more information about how this will be applied at the University.

This is a temporary scheme and, at present, claims can be made for the period 1 March 2020 to the 30 June 2020.

Supporting employees

As colleagues will appreciate from previous communications, the University is focused on supporting its employees and maintaining salaries during this period of uncertainty. Participating in the furlough scheme will enable the University to access an element of financial support for roles or activities that cannot be undertaken or delivered in the current circumstances. This is a period of paid leave during which individuals remain employees of the University, ready to resume work when their role becomes active again.

Work is currently underway, with managers, to establish which roles the scheme will apply to. If your role is identified as being suitable either because you cannot undertake your role at home or you have primary caring responsibilities which mean that you cannot work and your role is not directly funded from public monies, you will receive formal written confirmation about the details of your proposed furloughed status in the next few weeks.

Being selected for furlough is not a preselection for future redundancy and employee rights are not affected. In addition, selection for furlough is not a reflection of capability, relative levels of workload, relationships with others or any ongoing discussions about conduct or behaviour.

Full pension contributions

For those employees moved to a furloughed status, the University is able to claim back 80% of wages up to £2,500 plus a 3% pension contribution. However, the University has made the decision to maintain salaries at 100% and to pay full pension contributions. The salaries of employees on furlough will continue to be subject to the normal Income Tax, National Insurance contributions and any other deductions.

Colleagues on fixed term contracts can also be furloughed and the University may be able to renew or extend fixed term contracts during the furlough period. However, the University will not be able to artificially extend those that would otherwise end by drawing on the scheme.

 Further information and FAQs

The University recognises that colleagues will have a range of questions about the scheme and their individual circumstances.

The University has aimed to address as many of these as possible in a series of FAQs available at: If you have a question not addressed within the FAQs, please speak to your line manager directly. For further questions or queries, please email: