Construction workers and catering staff are among the Tayside Contract workers likely to be furloughed, it has emerged.
The firm, which carries out work in a number of areas on behalf of the three Tayside councils, has confirmed it is moving forward with using the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).
The staff likely to be put onto the scheme are from the catering, construction and support service departments.
Iain Waddell – the firm’s managing director – confirmed to staff that, following legal advice, the company would be utilising the scheme.
Mr Waddell said: “Tayside Contracts has been investigating and taking legal advice regarding whether it may be possible for us to utilise the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and place some employees on furlough.
“After lengthy discussions with our three recognised trades unions, our constituent local authorities and our governance and strategy group (GSG) we have decided that we can progress an application to the CJRS for a limited number of Tayside Contracts’ employees.”
Mr Waddell added: “This is most likely to be a proportion of employees within our catering unit, construction division and support services function.
“I wrote out to all employees in these groups seeking their agreement to be put on furlough.
“The reason for doing this is that we can change employees who are furloughed, if required, provided that they are furloughed for a minimum of three weeks at a time. This can also be backdated.
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“I am pleased to report that we have received a positive response to these letters and those employees selected for furlough will soon receive a further letter confirming that they are on furlough and that their terms and conditions have been temporarily amended on this basis.
“This will go some way to protecting income and jobs going forward, which was the main aim of this course of action.”
GMB, which represents some of the workers, said it welcomed the scheme and continued to work with the firm on behalf of its members.
A spokeswoman said: “GMB raised the issue of forced leave and Tayside Contracts have agreed that workers will not be forced to take annual leave if furloughed.”
The union has also agreed with the firm that there will be flexibility and understanding if a worker is requested to return from furlough with 48 hours notice and is facing difficulties due to factors such as childcare issues.