I work in the cruise industry and was put on furlough on 9th April until further notice but received a phone call last night at 5.30pm to say I was being made redundant with a week's notice but that the company would pay me until the end of May. When I queried their reasons for this and asked if I could stay on the furlough scheme until the end of June, I was told no because they could not afford to cover my costs. I did challenge them on what these costs were because I am on 80% furlough pay which they are not topping up.
I started my employment with them on 1st Feb and my probation was due to end at the end of April but I was furloughed two weeks short of this but assured my probation was simply going to be put on hold and would resume once 'things were back to normal'. I have received nothing but glowing feedback to date and this has come as a complete shock - although I had anticipated it would perhaps be the case at the end of June.
I have emailed them several times today to query why my employment is costing them when two separate accountants and ACAS have advised that there should be no costs to the company however they have failed to answer my queries and I have been told that their decision is final. I have not had a conversation with my manager, only the phone call to say I was being made redundant from the company director which was followed up with a call from the HR manager half an hour later - at my request. Below is a paragraph from the JRS letter which I signed in April as well as the latest email from my employer.
I would hugely appreciate any advice as this all seems so unfair and I can't understand why they won't allow me to stay on furlough until the end of June. I am now being pushed into signing my termination letter which I am not comfortable doing and they have now threatened me with a delay on my final pay if I take too long to sign and return this to them.
Many thanks in advance,
The Furloughed Worker designation will be effective from 9th April 2020 and will continue for the period as defined by the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Your eligibility for the scheme is also dependent on meeting the Government’s defined criteria, which are also subject to ongoing definition and clarification by the Government. The Company might extend this.
Latest email from employer
Thank you for your email and expressing your concerns.
We understand that this news is not ideal, especially in the current climate, but unfortunately the decision to terminate your employment is final. The termination of your contract and the Furlough Scheme are two separate entities. The same process would have applied if you were not furloughed. Your contract could have been terminated at any time during your probation period with only one week’s notice. We appreciate the situation this leaves you in and have extended your notice period to 3.5 weeks as a gesture of good will.
In regards to your concerns about furlough pay, I can assure you that we have followed the Governments guidelines for the payment of staff on the Furlough scheme and have checked your payments during your furlough period which are correct as per the details provided by Rachel.
Please can you sign and return the letter that was sent this morning as soon as possible, and as per my previous email, you will need to package up any company equipment and inform Rachel of the size and weight so we can arrange a courier to collect.
Any delay in the receiving of the letter or all company equipment allocated to you could result in a delay in your final pay.