The CWU has been advised by Rivas Fleet Solutions that the COVID-19 outbreak has had a significant impact on the organisation in terms of work. They have therefore notified us that they are going to implement the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which allows them to retain employees until the crisis has passed.

We realise this is a very worrying and uncertain time for you and your families but we want to assure you that we are working closely with Rivus throughout and will keep you fully informed. 

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme involves placing employees on a period of leave – “furlough”. The Government’s scheme will cover 80% of your normal pay, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. We have requested that Rivus top up the remaining 20% of your salary of which they have agreed to do so. This amount is subject to deductions for tax and national insurance in the normal way. The company will be reviewing the terms of the top up payment on a 3 weekly basis and have advised that if the financial situation in the future changes they may have to change these arrangements.

The Government funded scheme will also fund the minimum auto-enrolment contribution of your pension, this is 3%. The company will be topping up your pension therefore the pension contribution you currently receive will not be impacted.

We have been keen to ensure that furloughing is dealt with through volunteers in the first instance and are pleased that Rivus also share this view. If selection is required, this will be based upon agreed criteria to ensure transparency and fairness and the CWU will be fully involved in this process. Furloughing will be rotated over 3 week periods if required. 

If furloughed, you will need to agree to accept a variation to your terms and conditions. The minimum furlough will last is for three weeks; however, this can be shortened or lengthened depending on the operational demands of the business. 

You will remain employed throughout your period of furlough, under your contract of employment and your continuity of employment is not affected. Annual leave will continue to accrue in the normal way. Your continuity of employment is unaffected during the furlough period.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is initially set to run until the end of May 2020 (as declared by the government), but will be extended if necessary. Rivus are keeping the situation under review and have assured us that they will keep us fully updated. Rivus have initially confirmed that 133 employees from the workshops and SEV will be furloughed.

As a condition of being accepted for furlough you must provide Rivus with a mobile or landline number so they can remain in contact with you. 

Government guidelines regarding furloughing may change from time to time; we will of course ensure that any change is reflected accordingly by Rivus.    

Please find attached a set of Questions & Answers which will hopefully deal with the majority of queries you may have. Please note, moving forward these may be updated in line with government guidance or with additional questions. 

We would like to take the opportunity to thank all members and branches for their patience and assistance through these challenging times.  

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with any queries.

Kind Regards

Allan Eldred

National Officer



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