Catalyst repays government for cost of job retention scheme

Catalyst repays government for cost of job retention scheme

Housing organisation Catalyst is repaying back the total cost of the furlough payments it has received from the government during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

The organisation placed 101 employees on the government’s job retention scheme in March 2020 but has since returned 76 employees back to work, with the majority of the 25 employees left on furlough, self-isolating.

Catalyst will repay a total of £280,000 and not take advantage of any future payments or the government’s job retention bonus scheme, which gives organisation a £1,000 boost per employee returning from furlough if they are kept in employment until January 2020. The organisation has projected these further payments would have totalled £550,000.

The organisation has not made any redundancies or pay cuts during this period.

Ian McDermott, chief executive at Catalyst, said: “The government was clear that this was taxpayers’ money designed to ensure employersthat could not afford to pay wages could protect the employment of as many people as possible rather than make mass redundancies.

“With the benefit of hindsight, we now know that we did not fall into that category and would not have made anyone redundant as a consequence of lockdown.

“It would be entirely wrong to keep the money and use it for a different purpose. As an ethical organisation, we believe it is essential that we play our part as a responsible good corporate citizen and repay the money.

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“At the beginning of this crisis, we said we wanted to continue to employ as many people for as long as possible; that still stands, and our financial position means we have been able to do that over these last few months which I know have been tough for many.

“The ability to give this money back reflects the ongoing commitment of colleagues and their hard work across Catalyst over the last few months.”