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Job Retention Scheme: Update and joint statement with unions

17 April 2020

The government has updated guidance for colleges, including on the use of the Jobs Retention Scheme. Full details here. In response, David Hughes, Chief Executive, Association of Colleges said: “We have been working closely with DfE and ESFA to seek clarity for colleges on use of the Job Retention Scheme, so this is a welcome announcement. Colleges will now be able to protect jobs by furloughing staff who are not able to work during the current circumstances but whose skills will be much needed later on, and I’m pleased that we have got agreement with the staff unions nationally to support the use of the scheme.” For info, the full joint statement between AoC and unions is below: Joint AoC and Union Statement: “College staff have risen to the challenges of this crisis amazingly, supporting their students and communities. The continuation of this great work and commitment from all staff will be crucial during this difficult time to ensure that colleges are best placed to recover quickly. Whilst there remains some uncertainty about the job retention scheme, we think it is proper that colleges consider use of the scheme to furlough staff when it is clear there is no other funding for their role and no work for them to do. Colleges are undoubtedly concerned about the security of their public funding and the damage to their income generation but will always treat staff fairly, try to protect salaries and wherever possible top up the salaries of furloughed staff to 100%. Colleges, AoC and the joint trade unions are committed to maintaining a productive dialogue to try to reduce the anxiety and worry of the college workforce. We must protect the precious goodwill of all staff so that they are there for learners now and in the future”. AoC, GMB, NEU, UCU, UNISON and Unite