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Council confirms furloughing of staff under the government’s Job Retention Scheme

6th May 2020

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has advised that it has furloughed just over 200 staff under the government’s Job Retention Scheme following confirmation by the Department for Communities that Councils are eligible to make claim under the scheme provided specific terms are met. 

As a direct consequence of the implementation of measures deemed necessary to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus and to comply with government legislation, the Council has indicated that there has been a significant reduction in income from hitherto income generating streams in Arts, Tourism and leisure services which has impacted the ability to pay salaries and wages.

The Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Siobhán Currie said “We are grateful to the staff and trade union representatives who have worked with the Council to implement the process. It was important that furloughed staff would not be affected financially nor would it impact on their terms and conditions of employment.

As has been widely reported, there is a very significant financial burden on Councils as a result of Covid-19, particularly in the context of loss of income from closed centres and facilities. The income from funding received under the Job Retention Scheme will help to mitigate the loss of income.”

Employees who have been furloughed are not currently required to work due to the closure of certain facilities and through service reduction and includes some employees who are being shielded or have underlying health conditions which places them at a greater risk if they were to become infected with coronavirus. The number also includes employees who care for a family member who is currently shielding and therefore at greater risk.