Chancellors wages offer vs business take-up

My employer on Friday afternoon sent out a note asking myself and several other (in the hundreds) to take 2 months unpaid leave which is to be spread out over either 4 months at 50% pay or 6 months at 67% pay, depending on our preference. My employer is an airline and the reason given is that their planes would be grounded. FYI I am not in a cabin crew or pilot position, I work in one of their offices. 

The email also said there would be redundancies and that if enough people didn’t accept the above then it would mean there are more compulsory redundancies. 

It also says some people are business critical and so they won’t be allowed to take unpaid leave. Another condition it stipulates is that we’re free to look for other jobs outside the business and if we accept one then they’ll release us immediately instead of a 3 month notice period. 

This email was sent out about 45 minutes before the Chancellor made his announcement about paying 80% of wages up to £2.5k per month. 

My question is: would my employer be obliged to take up the chancellors offer or could they decline it and plough ahead anyway? 


  • JReacher1JReacher1 Forumite
    4.6K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    It’s probably better for your company to put you on secondment at 80% of pay for three months. 

    Wait to see what happens next week
  • DaveMingChengDaveMingCheng Forumite
    5 Posts
    First Post
    Employer has asked us to continue with 2 months at a reduced rate but they’re no longer calling it unpaid leave. They will use then coronavirus job retention scheme from the government and offer to top up wages by either 50 or 33% cut to pre pandemic earnings. Employer has put lots of other conditions into the agreement. 

    However nobody can confirm whether the £2.5k per month under the scheme is gross or net. Typically then government website also doesn’t clearly state this. Anyone know for sure which it is? 
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