Transport for London has confirmed that it will be putting some of its staff on the government’s furlough scheme following a substantial decline in passenger numbers, and revenue from ticket sales.
Following the instruction for people to work at home where possible and reduce social travel, tube journeys are now down by 95 percent and bus journeys are down by 85 percent.
Mike Brown MVO, London’s Transport Commissioner, said: “Londoners have listened to the advice of the Mayor and the Government and are staying at home to help reduce the spread of the virus. This is evidenced by the huge reduction in people using our network, which is helping to save lives. But that has also hugely reduced our fares and other revenue. We are having constructive conversations with the Government about the support that we need so that we can continue to serve the city effectively. Where appropriate we intend to use the Government’s Job Retention Scheme that is designed to support staff whose work has been paused because of the virus. This will mean that we can carry on the vital work that needs to be done during the pandemic and support the national effort to beat it.”
While the government will cover 80% of their salary up to £2,500 per month and, TfL will then top up the remaining balance to ensure that staff put on temporary leave due to the coronavirus are able to retain their full salary. They will also retain their existing benefits.
The staff affected are likely to be mainly non operational, work ceased employees and potentially some staff who are in isolation or quarantine.
The furlough scheme requires staff to be put on leave for at least three weeks.