24th April 2020
Our Ref: SH/14/3
Furlough Arrangements, Coronavirus - Wightlink
Your union has been in discussions with Wightlink as the company plans to introduce Furlough Arrangements where certain members of staff will be put on to the government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
Members may know that the minimum provisions contained in the national scheme sees workers paid 80% of their salary up to a maximum of £2500 per month, which employers claim back from the government. However, in response to RMT representations on pay and other matters regarding these proposals, Wightlink has given the following commitments.
· From 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020 Wightlink will pay 80% of salaries across the entire workforce including Senior Management to allow the business to survive the coronavirus crisis.
· When Wightlink profits return to equivalent Earnings before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortisation (EBITDA) levels to that seen in the financial year of 2019 Wightlink will meet with the RMT to facilitate the recovery of RMT members’ pay shortfall incurred from 1 April 2020 to 30 September 2020.
· To support this undertaking, the vital links to the Isle of Wight and the company at this time the RMT will relax working practices from April 2020 to September 2020. General Rostering principles and enhanced pay will be suspended for six months allowing the company to predict costs based purely on hours worked and release more money to support the viability of the business.
· All parties will work within the Guidance contained on the gov.uk website “Claim For Your Employees’ Wages Through The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme”.
· During the Furlough Period detailed within the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme colleagues can be furloughed, brought back to work, and then re-furloughed subject to each Furlough Period being at least three weeks.
· Further meetings will take place with the RMT to discuss Holidays and how members will receive their money owed by the company once they reach the EBITDA levels of 2019.
· Pensions will not be affected by the above.
Your union's National Executive Committee is satisfied that these arrangements safeguard jobs and pay for RMT members at Wightlink.
I would like to personally thank your Representatives for the exceptional work they put in to ensure that members suffer no long term detriment at this difficult time.
I trust this keeps you fully advised on the matter.