Furloughing – should it include agents’ commission as well?
One of the biggest issues for agencies at the moment is furloughing – a safety net being offered by the government to avoid job losses during what is seen as the temporary Coronavirus crisis.
Under the rules outlined by the Treasury, this suggests that furloughed staff – effectively laid off in terms of work but still on an employer’s books – will receive 80 per cent of their basic salary up to £2,500 a month.
This is for full-time and part-time employees, based on their salary before tax as of February 28 this year: employer National Insurance Contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions are included but discretionary fees, bonuses and commissions are not included.
The problem for many agency staff involved in sales in particular is clear – they may be on a low basic which in normal times can be topped up substantially by commission.
Now there is a petition being circulated – started by the Independent Motor Dealers Association but applying to many agents and others in sales-driven employment – which wants sales commission from fees included in furlough arrangements.
So far over 17,000 signatories have backed the petition which says it aims to “help ALL salespeople across ALL industries who rely on their sales Commission and their families many of which are young families just starting out.”
It continues: “We feel that a fair calculation could be based on the last three months wages slips to gain an average and base the 80 per cent Furlough Leave payment on that.”