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In yet another unprecedented move, the FCSA and NASUWT has written to the government to press for clarification on the issue of supply teachers employed through umbrella companies and agencies, and a serious omission in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), which is having a detrimental impact on some supply teachers, who are now unable to work due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The joint letter calls upon the government to urgently act to address the way the Job Retention Scheme is constructed so that hard-working and dedicated supply teachers can be furloughed and access 80% of their wage as opposed to 80% of the National Minimum Wage (NMW).
The collaboration on this matter between the FCSA, a membership organisation, and the NASUWT, a trade union, is uncommon as on some issues they would have opposing views.
However, given the seriousness of the situation and in response to the thousands of supply teachers that have requested urgent help as they enter another week without pay, the FCSA and NASUWT have come together to press government for absolute clarity that will enable umbrella employers to pay their employees.
Julia Kermode, Chief Executive of the FCSA said:
“Umbrella employers want to calculate furlough pay based on average taxable earnings; however, they are currently unable to do so, a situation that the government must address as a matter of urgency. We are pleased to work with the NASUWT, and we will collaborate with any other organisation that also needs the same vital action from the government.”
Dr Patrick Roach, General Secretary of the NASUWT said:
“The fact that our two organisations have come together on this issue shows the critical importance of ensuring that supply teachers who are unable to access work are treated fairly and equitably and receive the fullest amount of financial support available from the government at this critical time.
The FCSA has been lobbying government since the 30 March 2020 on this matter. The government – the Treasury or HMRC – has yet to respond to the questions the FCSA and its members seek clarity on to the detriment of 625,000 UK contractors.