CITB to furlough a number of staff to ‘protect construction money’

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The Construction Industry Training Board (CITB) is preparing to furlough a number of its staff to ‘protect construction industry money’ in the face of the coronavirus crisis

CITB announced it would furlough a number of its staff through the government’s job retention scheme to make financial savings.

CITB revealed it would also freeze the 2020/21 staff pay rise.

Staff were informed of the plans in a personal message from chief executive Sarah Beale.

CITB said the action was necessary ‘to protect construction industry money’ as employers face the coronavirus crisis.

The company said it would enable CITB to ‘continue to provide maximum support for construction skills’.

CITB has already deferred levy payment bills for three months and brought forward apprenticeship grant payments to employers.

Sarah Beale said: “Our first priority is to support construction businesses who are facing very significant, immediate challenges around cash flow. This, like all businesses, means taking action to reduce costs whilst protecting the jobs of our valued colleagues for the long term.

“We will continue to review every aspect of our business to make sure that we are providing vital support to our customers throughout the present situation and beyond.”

The organisation is advising its employees that CITB has to adjust to the current situation, reviewing its size and levels of activity in order to support skills across the construction industry. It will continue to prioritise its work to meet the immediate needs of construction employers and their requirements for a skilled workforce after the crisis comes to an end.

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

To support employers through the crisis, and to try to avoid layoffs and redundancies, the government has implemented a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Under the new scheme, the government is offering UK employers financial support to pay the wages of workers who would otherwise have been laid off on an unpaid basis as a result of Coronavirus.

To qualify, workers have to be designated as ‘furloughed’. Furloughed workers are those who have been asked to stop working due to a lack of available work, but have not been made redundant. They remain on the employer’s payroll but cannot do any work for the employer that has furloughed them.

HMRC will reimburse 80% of furloughed workers’ costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per worker per month. Employers can then choose to top-up the 80% HMRC payment.

Employers will have to notify HMRC through a new online portal. Payments will be backdated to 1 March 2020 and run for three months from that date.

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