Our Ref B/14/3
30th June 2020
TO ALL RMT MEMBERS AT FIRST SOUTH WEST
FURLOUGH ARRANGEMENTS – CORONAVIRUS – FIRST SOUTH WEST
I am writing further to my previous letter dated 16th June 2020 on the above matter and where I outlined your Union’s belief that some of our members were subject to the unlawful deduction of wages and that your Union would be seeking legal redress for those affected.
Senior management at First South West have been written to and the problem with their interpretation of the rules for the Governments Furlough Scheme rules made clear but this has not resolved the matter.
The Government’s Furlough Scheme is clear on how furlough pay should be calculated. As you are no doubt aware, the government is providing 80% of the wage costs for staff who are furloughed. For staff that work overtime, or receive other supplements to their basic pay as part of their wages, these should be included in the calculation of the 80%. The Furlough regulations clearly state that the calculation of the 80% should be based on the higher figure of either an individual’s average pay in the 2019-20 tax year or the pay they received in the same month of the previous year. First South West are instead paying our members on furlough 80% of their basic pay – and excluding the other elements of our members’ pay.
Having considered the matter, your National Executive Committee have decided to pursue a collective legal claim for those of you affected on the basis that First South West’s incorrect calculation of pay could be deemed an unlawful deduction of wages.
If are or have been on furlough then I would urge you to participate in the claim as soon as possible. You will need to complete an L2 Application form for Legal assistance. This form can be found on our website using the following link https://bit.ly/3d3FmbX and should be returned to our Bristol office by email to firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible. Due to the current Coronavirus situation we are unable to send out forms in the post at present.
I trust this keeps you fully advised on the matter and I will, of course, keep you informed on any further developments.