Coronavirus – Public Service Pay: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002

Information requested

During lockdown the UK Government are supporting 80% income for private sector employees who are furloughed.
Can you confirm whether Civil Servants and Public Sector employees across Scotland are receiving full pay during lockdown or have they been furloughed on 80% as private sector?


Public Bodies which are fully funded from the public purse are not expected to furlough staff. Where staff in such public bodies are not able to carry out their usual work, employers should be making every effort to redeploy staff to assist with the Coronavirus response or maintain essential services, either within that organisation or to another part of the public sector.
Public Bodies which are only part funded from the public purse and which have lost some or all income from other sources as a result of the impact of Coronavirus and would otherwise not have sufficient funding to pay all staff can consider furloughing staff and claiming a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) grant from HMRC.

Those Public Sector organisations which are eligible to claim under the CJRS have been advised to claim only when absolutely necessary and to ensure that their organisation is not ‘double-funded’, i.e.that they do not receive funding from the CJRS in addition to other funding they receive to cover the same staff costs. An organisation, for example, which has lost 50% of its income would not be expected to be claiming for staff costs in excess of this loss of income. The proportion of public sector staff which have been placed on furlough through the CJRS is therefore relatively small.

Under the scheme, employers are able to furlough staff and claim a grant from HMRC that covers 80% of their usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and pension contributions (up to the level of the minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contribution) on that subsidised furlough pay.

Where the income of an organisation has reduced to the extent it no longer has sufficient income to cover all staff costs, the Scottish Government supports public bodies to furlough staff and claim CJRS as well as to top up the grant where possible to maintain staff incomes at normal levels. Trade unions should be fully consulted/engaged. Bodies we are aware of include: National Galleries of Scotland;
National Museum of Scotland; Historic Environment Scotland; Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh; Registers of Scotland; David MacBrayne Ltd; Scottish Canals; Highland & Island Airports Ltd; Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park Authority; and Further Education Establishments. We understand that these public bodies have chosen to top-up the grant to maintain income levels.

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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