Council & Agency have colluded not to Furlough me Council & Agency have colluded not to Furlough me
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  1. #1

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    Default Council & Agency have colluded not to Furlough me

    I apologise this may be a bit long winded, its my first post and I'm not a big earner like most other contractors.

    Hi I work for a London Council through an agency. I had the option to be paid through an umbrella company but chose not to as I was happy to take my holidays and not work every working day of the year. I am Inside IR35 and not a Ltd Company. I really didn't have any benefits of being a contractor and would rather have been permanent but they never gave me that opportunity.

    I started working around the middle of 2018 and worked all the way up to Monday the 23rd of March 2020 when I was told to work from home due to the Corona Virus Outbreak. I then got a call on Friday the 27th March that my services were no longer required, along with other non key worker contractors.

    As I was working within IR35 paying all my tax and national insurance and getting paid PAYE and earnt around £46k for 2019-2020 financial year, so I thought I would qualify for the government furlough scheme.

    As I could not apply for myself I approached my agency to see if they would assist me in claiming. They were completely unhelpful and evasive.When I pushed them to apply they came back with an email stating that my assignment was no longer needed and I could claim my 1 weeks notice pay.

    I rang my council manager and he told me over the phone that they would like me back once these problems had passed. I knew that wouldn't be any good as I needed that on paper so approached the head of HR at the council to see if he could talk with my manager to bottom this out due to the conflicting information I am getting. They came back with a letter saying my services are no longer required and as such I am not able to apply for the furlough scheme!

    So it seems to me that the council and the agency are colluding not to allow any contractors that have been layed off to claim from the furlough scheme.

    I understand that the furlough scheme simply has to be an offer of work at the end of this lock-down but if they subsequently realise they cant have me back that fine I could still claim for furlough government help and then go on my way to finding another job. But neither the agency or council will help me claim, in fact they go out of their way to stop me from doing this.

    I may have missed something obvious, but does anyone have a clue why they do not want to assist in helping me claim furlough??? It would be a massive help to me if I could, instead of earning nothing!

    Thanks in advance

  2. #2

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    If you don't work through a ltd co, then IR35 is irrelevant.

    Just for clarity - you were on the agency payroll?
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by NotAllThere View Post
    If you don't work through a ltd co, then IR35 is irrelevant.

    Just for clarity - you were on the agency payroll?
    Yes I was on the agency payroll but paid employers and employees National Insurance

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr S T View Post
    Yes I was on the agency payroll but paid employers and employees National Insurance
    So who is your employer ?

    You normally are either paid through Ltd (this assumes you would be outside IR35), through Brolly (either you are in IR35 or you dont want hassle of Ltd), you say you are neither of these ?

    So you are paid PAYE by agency or by council ?, is it perm job or fixed term contract ?

    Has the work dried up ?, thus the contract is deemed to have ended and they didnt furlough you (they dont have to, they can either make you redundant for permies or prob in your case just end the contract/term early)

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by andydd68 View Post
    So who is your employer ?

    You normally are either paid through Ltd (this assumes you would be outside IR35), through Brolly (either you are in IR35 or you dont want hassle of Ltd), you say you are neither of these ?

    So you are paid PAYE by agency or by council ?, is it perm job or fixed term contract ?

    Has the work dried up ?, thus the contract is deemed to have ended and they didnt furlough you (they dont have to, they can either make you redundant for permies or prob in your case just end the contract/term early)
    Yes I am not Ltd or umbrella as they gave me an option when signing the contract to use an umbrella company but though that would just complicate things. Me the end client and the agency.

    So I am paid by the agency. Its a rolling 3 month contract and have been working since May 2018 without gaps.

    The work is still there and when they told me to leave I still had 1 month left on the contract, I left on Friday the 27th of March. It wasn't just me it was other contractors too. The only reason we left was because of Covid not that the work diapered!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr S T View Post
    not that the work diapered!
    Must be crap there.
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  7. #7

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    i reckon they've got rid of you before to reach the 2 year point and have rights.
    If they furloughed you, dutring that fulrough period you'd get to a point where they'd have to pay redundancy to get rid.

    I suspect they'd probably have got rid of you at the 2 year point anyway, and the furlough scheme just made it happen sonner.
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    i reckon they've got rid of you before to reach the 2 year point and have rights.
    If they furloughed you, dutring that fulrough period you'd get to a point where they'd have to pay redundancy to get rid.

    I suspect they'd probably have got rid of you at the 2 year point anyway, and the furlough scheme just made it happen sonner.
    I dont think that was the case as I worked there for 4 years previously. Took a year working at another place then came back to do this stint of just under 2 years. The contracts are quite watertight in the Councils favor.

    Thinking of getting legal advice

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by northernladuk View Post
    Must be crap there.
    It was, only redeeming part was that I got on really well with my manager

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr S T View Post
    I dont think that was the case as I worked there for 4 years previously. Took a year working at another place then came back to do this stint of just under 2 years. The contracts are quite watertight in the Councils favor.

    Thinking of getting legal advice
    You are missing the point, its a contract and they've terminated - they are legally allowed to so.

    You are missing the point, the furlough scheme is for employees the employer wishes to retain but has no means to pay (in its simplest form), they don't want to retain you (they might be happy to rehire you later but that's a different beast)

    You are missing the point, the furlough scheme is optional and an employer has no obligation to put any employee on it (and they can choose to put some but not other on it)

    If you want to throw good money after bad, by all means talk to a solicitor, but after trousering your notes they'll just tell you exactly what we've told you.

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