Blog

Syft Job Retention Scheme and FAQ (Updated 14/05/2020)

  • Kate Light
  • 14th April 2020

14/05/2020

We hope you are well and are keeping safe during these challenging times. 

As the Government continues to impose lockdown measures in the UK, we continue to see the hospitality sector significantly impacted resulting in little to no shift activity, therefore we are very happy to offer eligible Syfters the Job Retention Scheme again for April 2020. For industrial and facilities management workers, we have seen an increased demand so the Scheme would not be applicable.  

The Job Retention Scheme is a scheme set by HMRC and the government, not Syft. We would like to thank you for your patience and to assure you that we will do everything possible to support you through this difficult period. 

To remind everyone, under this Scheme, employers will be able to furlough workers who have no work as a direct result of the outbreak, and will be able to pay 80% of the wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. The payment calculation is based on guidelines and regulations that the UK government set. We have followed the government’s guidelines closely and believe this scheme still provides the best support for our community. 

Eligibility 

​​​​​​Those eligible to be furloughed must be hospitality workers who have been on Syft’s Payroll from November 2019 to 19th March 2020. If you are eligible for the scheme, your April furlough period will start after your last shift with us in the month of April and the minimum furlough period was/will be three weeks. 

You will receive a separate email today explaining the scheme and your April furlough wage in more detail, as well as with the opportunity to participate and Opt-In. If you are eligible and accept to be furloughed by 21st May, the April furlough wages will be paid on 29th May 2020. 

If you are eligible you must opt in to be furloughed by 23.59 21st May. You will not have the opportunity to opt in for April furlough after this date.

Being furloughed is not compulsory of course, however, we do believe this is the best option for those whose industry has been particularly affected. If you agree to be furloughed, you will remain on the Syft payroll. However, you will not be permitted to continue working for Syft and your profile will be temporarily unverified. Rest assured we’ll re-verify you once the furlough period is over.

Please see below for FAQs relating to the Job Retention Scheme and April’s furlough. 

If you have any further queries please contact help@syftapp.com.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding,

Team Syft

To stay up to date and connected during this time, please join our Syfter Facebook Community here.

06/05/2020

Syft would like to thank you for your patience during this time, we understand it’s a stressful period for all. We are working hard with the latest government’s guidelines to determine what we can offer our workers in April in regards to Furlough.

Please note, due to the nature of agency work and the complexity of government guidelines surrounding the Job Retention Scheme, our team has been working hard to evaluate and calculate the April furlough for you. We also want to remind the community that this is a government-led scheme, not a scheme created by Syft, which means we would need to follow the guidance to ensure Syft is eligible to claim for the grant. 

We are finalising what we are able to offer and will make a formal update early next week, to those who are eligible. We apologise for the delay but due to continuous changes and complexity of the scheme, we wanted to make sure we are being vigilant.

We appreciate your understanding in advance.

Wishing you a wonderful Bank Holiday weekend,

Syft Community Team.

 

16/04/2020

We hope you are well and are keeping safe during these challenging times. 

Syft has spent the last two weeks working closely with our finance and legal teams to understand what we can offer our workers in terms of financial assistance. We would like to thank you for your patience and to assure you that we will do everything possible to support you through this difficult period. 

We are very happy to announce we will be offering eligible Syfters the Job Retention Scheme, following the government guidance. The Scheme states that individuals who work through employment agencies and who were on the agency’s payroll on 28 February 2020, can benefit from this scheme. Under this Scheme, employers will be able to furlough workers who have no work as a direct result of the outbreak, and will be able to pay 80% of the wages, up to a cap of £2,500 per month. We have followed the government’s guidelines closely and believe this scheme provides the best support for our community. 

Therefore, we have decided to furlough hospitality workers for March,  who have been on Syft’s Payroll from November 2019 to February 2020 as the hospitality sector has been severely impacted by COVID-19 and no work is available. For industrial and facilities management workers, we have seen an increased demand so the Scheme would not be applicable. 

If you are eligible for the scheme, your March furlough period will start after your last shift with us in the month and the initial furlough period was/will be three weeks. You will receive a separate email on 8th April (Wednesday) explaining the scheme and your March furlough wage in more detail, as well as with the opportunity to participate. If you are eligible and accept to be furloughed, the March furlough wages will be paid on 17 April 2020. 

Being furloughed is not compulsory of course, however, we do believe this is the best option for those whose industry has been particularly affected. If you agree to be furloughed, you will remain on the Syft payroll. However, you will not be permitted to continue working for Syft and your profile will be temporarily unverified. Rest assured we’ll re-verify you once the furlough period is over.

 

FAQs

 

1. I cannot get many shifts in the industrial and facilities management sectors as well, why am I not eligible?

The government guidance advises employers can place employees on furlough if there is no work available, as a result of coronavirus (COVID-19). In that case, the hospitality sector is severely impacted by the lockdown and social distancing measures and no work is available. 

However, we have seen an increased number of shifts for industrial and facilities management workers due to the demand of essential services. Our team is working hard to bring more businesses on board and provide more shifts to you in the coming weeks. 

Therefore, workers that have been verified for more than the hospitality sector would not be eligible.

 

 2. I was on Syft payroll in October but didn’t work with you after that, why am I not eligible?

As the availability of hospitality shifts peaked in November 2019, we believe that was the period when most active hospitality Syfters would be able to get work, and therefore their incomes are directly impacted by the coronavirus with no work available now, meeting the government guidance of eligibility for furlough. 

 

 3. How much will I get for my April furlough wage? [UPDATED on 14 May 2020]

You will receive prorated, 80% of the furlough month’s earnings from the previous year (2019) or your average monthly earnings from the 2019/20 financial year (for the PAYE period of April 2019 to Feb 2020), whichever is greater, up to £2,500. Holiday pay will be included in the furlough wage. If you worked a shift prior to 9 April 2020 you will receive a pro-rata amount to represent the period you did not work for April. See the examples below:

Example 1: 

Sam joined Syft since Jan 2019, Sam made £1000 gross income with Syft in the PAYE on or before 19 March 2019. Since then, Sam has made a total of £5000 with Syft from April 2019 to Feb 2020 for PAYE, so his average monthly earnings would be £5000/11 months in the 2019/20 financial year (April 2019 to Feb 2020) = £454.55.

If Sam is eligible for April furlough, he would be paid 80% of the greater amount, which is 80% x £1000 = £800, subject to tax, national insurance and pensions deductions. The calculations have included holiday pay.

Sam’s April furlough wage will be pro-rata, depending on his first furlough date indicated in the communications he received. If his furlough continues into April, his April furlough wage will be calculated with the above method.

 

4. Can I still work with other employers/agencies?

You will still be permitted to work with other employers, this will not affect your furlough status with Syft. And if you choose, you are also permitted to volunteer during your furloughed time.

 

5. I’m in self-isolation, can I still be furloughed?

Government guidance indicates that “employees on sick leave or self-isolating should get Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) but can be furloughed after this”. This means for Syfters who are currently on SSP, you will be able to accept to be furloughed after you come off sick leave. For Syfters who are in self-isolation but do not receive SSP, they can accept to be furloughed now.

 

 6. Am I able to get furloughed if I have applied for Universal Credit or other grants?

If your salary is reduced as a result of being furloughed, you may be eligible for support through the welfare system, including Universal Credit, as it is means-tested.

If you are already on Universal Credit beforehand, and if you’re earning less because you’re on furlough, your Universal Credit payment might change – find out how earnings affect your payments.

 

7. How do I know if I have been accepted/processed to be furlough?

You have received an email that allows you to accept participation to be furloughed. Provided you have clicked the “Accept” button by 23:59 21st May 2020, you will receive an email confirming your acceptance within 7 days.

 

 8. How can I see how much I earnt each month in 2019? 

You can check the payslips on Paycircle.

 

 9. What if I am verified for Industrial or Facilities Management as well as Hospitality? Will I still be eligible? 

Yes, if you have only worked in hospitality roles for the PAYE period from Nov 2019 to March 2020, you may be eligible for April furlough.

 

 10. I haven’t worked a shift this year, will I still be eligible? 

If you were on Syft’s payroll in November and December 2019 for Hospitality work only, you may be eligible to participate in the Furlough scheme. 

 

11. When the profiles are going to be re-verified, is this going to change anything? 

No, your rating, information and verified roles won’t change. Your network may change if clients have edited them.

 

12. I didn’t work for Syft during November or December 2019 due to my studies and then couldn’t get a shift this year. Can I still get furlough if I prove this?

Unfortunately you can’t be furloughed if you were not on the payroll with Syft from November 2019 to 19th March 2020.

 

13. I am verified for Hospitality, Industrial and Facilities Management roles but have never worked or been offered a shift in the Industrial or Facilities Management sectors, am I eligible? 

Yes, if your November to 19th March 2020 payroll didn’t include any Facilities Management or Industrial shifts, you will be eligible. If you have worked any shifts in any sector in April, you are not eligible for March furlough.

 

14. I’ve always only worked hospitality shifts with Syft before the lockdown. Only recently have I been verified for Facilities Management / Industrial role and worked recently in April. Am I eligible for the April furlough?

Yes, as long as you have only been working in hospitality shifts for the PAYE period from Nov 19 to 19 March  2020, you may be eligible. If you have worked any shifts in any sector in April, unfortunately you would not be eligible for April furlough.

 

 15. If I furlough for April does this mean I can’t work in May? 

Your acceptance to April furlough does not mean you cannot work in May. However, only those who don’t work in May will be eligible if Syft decided to furlough workers for May. You are however able to work outside of Syft with other organisations and companies if you choose to do so.

 

16. Will Syft be running furlough for May?

We will be working alongside government guidelines on a monthly basis to understand if we are able to offer furlough to our workers. With the UK lockdown rules changing weekly, we can not guarantee what months we will be offering the scheme. As soon as we have an update regarding May furlough, we will reach out to the Syfter community. We plan to announce the May furlough scheme on 15 June 2020. 

 

 17. What date will I receive Aprils furlough? 

All eligible workers will receive April’s furlough payment on 29th May if they opt-in by 23.59 21st May.

 

 18. Why are we receiving Aprils furlough in May and not at the end of April? 

 The Job Retention Scheme, set by the government works one month behind the month just gone. Therefore, during April we were working on March’s furlough and during May we work on calculating those eligible for April Furlough. 

 

 19. If I said yes to March furlough can I say no to April furlough?

Yes, you have the option to opt into being furloughed for April. The Job Retention Scheme is not a compulsory one therefore it’s up to you if you would like to participate. Those eligible have until 21st May at midnight to opt into April furlough.

 

 20. I didn’t receive payment in March for Furlough, will I relieve it for April? 

All eligible workers for April furlough have been emailed and contacted. There are some individuals who didn’t qualify for March furlough who do for April, therefore please check your emails for updates.

 

 21. Why is my pay different in April to March?

Your pay may be different from your March Pay as we have followed the government guidelines to pay 80% of the higher of:

  1. the same pay that you would have received for the same period last year
  2. the average earnings for the year April-March (this will be your total earnings divided by the number of months you were employed by Syft).

22. Why did I receive an advance in March’s furlough payment? 

Syft was aware of the delay of the April furlough announcement and an advance was included to aid our Syfters financial situation between furlough announcements.

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