Transport for Greater Manchester (TFGM) and energy organisation EDF Energy have furloughed their employees on 100% pay during the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.
Following negotiations with trade union Unite, 500 EDF Energy employees will be furloughed on 100% pay. The agreement covers meter installers, meter fixers and revenue collection staff employed by the business in London, South-East and South-West regions.
The agreement will affect 498 workers, who are being furloughed, out of a total workforce of 1,193.
Over 100 transport employees at TFGM have also been furloughed on full pay. Staff employed in the commercial activities of TFGM including workers in shops, cafes, and some bus station staff, will be furloughed on 100% of their pay. An agreement has also been reached to ensure that workers with underlying health problems will also be furloughed on full pay.
Under the government’s job retention scheme, workers can receive 80% of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
A spokesperson at EDF Energy said: “We have done everything possible to prevent furloughing colleagues including redeploying some of our people to deliver essential medicines for Boots, Avicenna and Lloyds. Despite this, the impact of this pandemic on our business activities means we have to furlough approximately 400 colleagues and will begin the process of communicating with them today.
“We understand this will be an anxious time for many families, which is why we will ensure all colleagues are supported. These furloughed colleagues will receive 100% of their normal salary and benefits.”
Eamonn Boylan, chief executive at TFGM, said: “The impact of Coronavirus is having a devastating effect on public and private sector finances around the world, and TFGM is no different.
“We continue to run our trams to maintain a core network for key staff and those who need to make essential journeys, but with 95% fewer people travelling we are losing more than £5 million per month.
“We must, therefore, ensure we are making every effort to make savings wherever possible; something our residents would expect of us as a public body.
“One of our biggest outgoings is staff costs, and like other organisations across Greater Manchester, and nationally, we have identified a number of roles eligible for the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which could save us somewhere in the region of £200,000 a month.
“We have worked closely with our staff and the unions on these arrangements, which came into effect this week, but I want to stress this is in no way a reflection of any individual or the work they do.
“Since the outbreak, our staff have worked above and beyond in the most challenging of circumstances to help keep Greater Manchester moving, and each and every one of them is a credit to our organisation.”