Local Government: Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Clive Betts Clive Betts Chair, Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, Chair, Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, what is the Government's policy on local authorities furloughing their employees.

Photo of Simon Clarke Simon Clarke Minister of State (Housing, Communities and Local Government)

It is a decision for local authorities whether or not to furlough staff, in compliance with Government guidance. However, local authorities are continuing to provide essential public services and contribute to the response to the coronavirus outbreak, and as such the government expects that local authorities will continue to pay their staff as usual.

Where staff are not able to carry out their usual work, Government expects local authorities make every effort to redeploy employees to assist with the coronavirus response. This could include redeployment within the existing organisation, or to support another part of the public sector.

However, as the guidance sets out there may be a small number of cases where the scheme may be appropriate. In these cases, local authorities are expected to use their best judgement in applying the Government guidance.

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