From cricketers to cleaners – more businesses furlough staff

The number of businesses utilising the Government’s job retention scheme is continuing to increase and Yorkshire County Cricket has become one of the first counties to furlough both players and coaches.

The decision follows the non-playing staff at Headingley being put on the Government’s Job Retention Scheme at the end of March, with the club’s director of cricket Martyn Moxon contacting each player and member of staff individually with the news on Friday.

Speaking about the Club’s decision to furlough its players, Moxon said: “First and foremost, there is a bigger picture than cricket and it is vitally important that people stay safe, stay healthy and support the NHS in any way possible. We are in the midst of a national crisis and cricket is secondary at this moment.

“From a Club point of view, we feel that these measures need to be taken to ensure as little damage as possible to the business.

“The players are disappointed not to be playing as they have worked hard during the winter and have been excited about the season ahead. However, they are all fully understanding of the Club’s decision and we hope that the situation improves as quickly as possible to ensure that everyone can resume some kind of normality as soon as possible.”

The news of Yorkshire’s cricketers being furloughed comes at a time when professional athletes and sports organisations have been in the spotlight for their handling of the current crisis. In fact the last few days have seen footballers make apologies for flouting social distancing rules and last night Liverpool FC apologise and perform a U-turn on its plans to furlough non-playing staff and make use of the Job Retention Scheme.

Away from sport however many businesses are making use of the Government’s initiative with trade union, Unite and Leeds Bradford Airport reaching an agreement yesterday to furlough 250 staff with a commitment to no redundancies. The staff affected work in security, car parking, cleaning and passenger assistance. They will have their pay topped up by the airport so there is no loss of earnings, however when they return to work, they will be required to work back the banked hours at overtime rates, with a cap of 84 hours.