Steve Walsh, Chief Executive of High Life Highland said, “Due to the COVID-19 and the Government guidelines put in place around social distancing and essential travel the Board of Directors has taken the decision to make application to the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and furlough a substantial number of staff across all services.
“Taking this into account, over the last week HLH has placed 1,309 staff on furlough leave with more likely to follow in the forthcoming days and weeks as online services are further developed.”
Referring to the process of the decision, Mr. Walsh added, ”We have worked closely with our Trade Unions and have received full support from GMB, UNISON and Unite through a temporary collective agreement that was created and approved in a matter of days. And I am pleased that feedback since we started advising staff being placed on furlough leave has been very positive, with staff being relieved to know the position and accepting of the furlough process – which is obviously very reassuring for me to hear.”
HLH staff who are furloughed will receive full pay with no change to terms and conditions when they return to work.
The Chief Executive concluded, “Furloughed staff are being actively encouraged use some of the skills they have gained during their employment with HLH to help out in their local community in whatever way they can while they are on furlough leave.”
“I am very proud of the response from the High Life Highland team in terms of the amount of individual support and volunteering even prior to the majority of staff being placed on furlough leave. And I understand that many of our team members, both on and off furlough leave, are continuing to support their local communities across the Highlands.”