CBRE – NOTICE OF FURLOUGHING
The CWU have been advised by CBRE, that as a consequence of the COVID-19 outbreak they intend to implement the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, known as furloughing.
They advise that given the local and global constraints on normal business operations during the COVID-19 pandemic, their clients are adjusting their activities and, in some cases, closing sites, resulting in a reduction in workload for those sites and organisations. At the same time, some of their clients are stepping up their operations and require continuing or increased services. The job retention scheme is now being implemented as they state they need to make immediate cost savings, in order to protect the future health of the business.
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. CBRE have confirmed that they will top up the remainder of the 20% of salary. This may be reviewed moving forward. This amount is subject to deductions for tax and national insurance in the normal way.
We realise this is a very worrying and uncertain time for our CBRE members and their families but we want to assure you that we are working closely with CBRE throughout and will keep you fully informed throughout.
- Wages of furloughed employees will be subject to income tax and national insurance as usual. Employees will also pay automatic enrolment contributions on qualifying earnings, unless they have chosen to opt out. Wages include basic pay plus all contractual pay components.
- It is at CBRE’s discretion whether to place an employee on furlough.
- The scheme is in place for 3 months, from 1 March 2020 to 31 May 2020.
- The government may revisit the scheme in May 2020 (and could extend it).
- Employees placed on furlough can be redeployed if an opportunity arises, but their furlough leave would officially stop at that point. They can also be placed on furlough again within the three-month period. Furlough periods cannot be less than three weeks.
- Teams doing the same work may be rotated on and off furlough to ensure fairness. Team rotation could be on a month on/month off basis.
- Furlough Leave will initially run until 31 May 2020 but could be extended.
- Annual leave during the Furlough period and will be paid in the usual way for leave (i.e. contractual holiday pay).
- During furlough, CBRE will continually review the situation – it may be that they can offer work. In this situation, furlough Leave will stop and employees will return to work (on usual salary). Furlough Leave will not generally be less than 3 weeks and employees can be rotated on and off furlough Leave.
- Furloughed employees are expected to remain available for work and contactable by the company during this period, in the event that any work, including any suitable alternative work, becomes available at short notice.
- Furloughed employees will need to sign a Furlough Agreement.
Furlough applies to employees who started continuous employment on OR before 28 February 2020 and have little or no work to do due to the current pandemic. This can include:
- Site closure and role where home working not possible
- Reduction in work and role not needed
- Changes to working patterns that employee cannot facilitate
- Vulnerable groups that cannot home work (over 70; under 70 with underlying health conditions; pregnant)
- Care of dependants (school closure) and home working not possible
- Employee unable to come to work for another reason (e.g. health anxiety) associated with the Coronavirus and is on unpaid leave (which started after 28 Feb 2020)
Furlough does not apply to employees on sick leave, although once employees return from sick leave, they can be furloughed.
CBRE have confirmed that they will be seeking to furlough those who have an NHS letter requiring them to isolate, vulnerable employees including those with a known past history of an illness which could be fatal if they contract the virus, those who are at home with someone who is shielding and those who have caring responsibilities.
If members believe that they should have been furloughed and their circumstances are as described above, they need to raise their request to their line manager in the first instance.
Please find attached a copy of the company Q&A which will hopefully answer the majority of your questions.
We are currently awaiting a copy of the company comms and confirmation of final numbers of furloughing at this stage. We will keep you updated accordingly.
If you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
NEC member, Chair of CBRE National Team
On behalf of Brendan O’Brien National Officer