Please also see the Staff Information page: www.royalautomobileclub.co.uk/staff-information
Updated Friday 5 June 2020
5 JUNE STAFF ANNOUNCEMENT AND CONSULTATION
Why are you proposing these measures?
As you are aware, we temporarily closed our clubhouses in March due to COVID-19. Since this time, most of you have been asked to take furlough leave, members have been unable to access Club services, and revenue has been brought to a standstill.
Unfortunately, there is clearly no easy path back to what we previously considered ‘normal life’. The journey will take a substantial period of time and, during this time, we expect to experience significantly reduced use of our clubhouses and services.
We have carefully assessed the probable levels of clubhouse activity during the coming months and into next year and have concluded that the current situation is unsustainable. To ensure the financial security of the Club, we have identified a number of measures that we believe may be necessary to protect the Club in the long term.
How will I know which measures I am being consulted on?
You will receive a letter from the Club explaining what you are being consulted on. This could be regarding your pay if you remain (or go) on furlough leave, potentially returning to work four days a week (when we are able to reopen), or asking you to consider working at an alternative clubhouse. Employees whose roles are at risk of redundancy will be contacted directly by their line manager.
How do I raise concerns?
As we are consulting with you collectively, we ask that, in the first instance, you raise questions or suggestions via your Employee Voice Forum (EVF) representative by emailing EVF@royalautomobileclub.co.uk . You can also raise concerns of a personal nature via your line manager or with a member of the HR team.
Will I be asked to come back to work in July if the clubhouses reopen?
At this stage, we are unsure when we will be permitted to reopen the Clubhouses or which services we will be able to offer to our members. This will depend upon on the Government’s instructions and advice when we receive it.
I am on furlough leave at the moment. If I stay on furlough leave for the summer months, will my pay be affected?
If you remain on furlough leave beyond the end of June then your pay may be impacted. The Club is proposing to reduce your pay in line with the allowances offered by the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention scheme and this is one of the measures we are consulting you on.
If I am asked to return to work, will I be working my full contractual hours or less? Will my pay be affected?
In some departments, we are proposing for employees to return to work reduced hours (e.g. 4 days per week) in line with reduced activity. This is one of the measures we are consulting you about. In this instance, your pay may be reduced in line with your hours. Employees who may be impacted by this measure will be advised of this.
Change of Location
If I am asked to work at Woodcote Park, do I have to?
We will be asking some employees who normally work at Pall Mall to consider working at Woodcote Park, either temporarily or permanently, to ensure that our resources are balanced in line with anticipated activity. All requests will be fully discussed with the employee prior to any decisions being reached.
Roles at Risk of Redundancy
Who is being made redundant? Am I impacted?
The Club has identified a small number of roles that are at risk of redundancy due to anticipated reduced activity as we begin to reopen our clubhouses and services. If you are impacted, your manager will have contacted you.
How were the roles selected?
The Club carefully reviewed the anticipated activity over the coming months and then identified roles that would potentially no longer be required. Roles that are potentially impacted are in support services (Central) and in operations.
Is the Club looking for voluntary redundancies?
The Club is not looking for voluntary redundancies at this time.
Shielding, Child Care and Transport
I am shielding due to significant health concerns (I have a letter from the NHS). Will I be asked to return to work whilst shielding?
You will remain on furlough leave until it is safe for you to return to work. Please stay in touch with your manager and a member of the HR Team so that your situation can be continually reassessed.
I have a young child or children. Will I be asked to return to work when they have not been allowed to return to school?
We understand the difficulties that the situation presents for those employees who are parents of children of school age. We will aim to work with you to ensure that you are able to balance your work and childcare responsibilities whilst schools are closed.
I travel by public transport and live too far away to cycle or walk? Will I be kept on furlough leave?
In this instance, and if you are unable to drive to work, we will explore your options with you. These options may include remaining on furlough (if appropriate).
When will the Club reopen?
Woodcote Park has now reopened for golf, tennis and walking and relaxing in the grounds. We do not yet know when we will be allowed to reopen other facilities but we will do as soon as possible. Considerable planning is taking place on how we will be able to do this whilst maintaining the safety of staff and members.
I am on furlough. When will I return to work?
It is unclear when we will be able to reopen more facilities and we are being led by the Government’s instructions and advice in this regard. We are planning on reopening some minor additional services as early as June and will then look to July as a time when further areas of the clubhouses are able to open, but this is subject to the Government moving to Step 3 of their road map. More details will follow when we have them.
What precautions are being put in place to ensure that staff are protected when they return?
Health and safety measures, including hand washing facilities, PPE (where applicable) and social distancing guidance have been put in place to ensure staff are protected. These measures are continually being reviewed.
Is the shuttle running at Woodcote Park?
As per Government advice, employees are encouraged to either walk, cycle or drive themselves to work at this stage. The shuttle does not currently allow for proper social distancing to be maintained but we are reviewing this and hope to return the service when it is safe to do so.
PAY AND BENEFITS
You have confirmed that we will all receive full pay for June. What about July?
The Club has confirmed that, whether you are working or are furloughed, you will receive full pay until the end of June. We will be back in touch in June to advise on next steps regarding pay for the month of July. All pay will be processed via the Club’s payroll.
Will I receive full pay in the summer months if the Club does not reopen or if I am not asked to return from furlough?
At this stage, we have confirmed that all employees will receive full pay for the months of May and June. We will be reviewing our position regarding July’s pay in the coming weeks and will advise staff accordingly. Decisions will be made in line with available Government funding and affordability for the Club.
If I am on furlough will you be ‘topping up’ my salary on top of that covered by the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)?
Yes, for the months of May and June we will be ‘topping up’ salaries to full pay. The Club’s position on pay from July onwards is still under review.
I started work after the Government’s deadline for the CJRS. Does this mean I won’t be paid?
No, employees will receive full pay for the months of May and June regardless of their start date. This is a Club decision (to treat staff equally) and not as a result of the Government’s scheme.
Is the Club awarding a pay review this year?
After careful consideration there will be no annual salary increase in 2020.
If I am furloughed, will I keep my employee benefits?
You will continue to enjoy your employee benefits whilst on furlough leave. This is the current position and we expect it to continue.
What will happen to my pension contributions if I am furloughed?
Both employer and employee pension contributions (as a percentage of salary) will continue regardless of whether you are furloughed or not.
Can I pause contributions to my pension during this period of uncertainty?
We have sought guidance from our pension provider and will update you when we can.
You previously said that staff on furlough will continue to accrue annual leave and that one week of mandatory leave will be deducted in May. Is that still correct?
Yes, you continue to accrue annual leave and therefore we have deducted one week of mandatory annual leave in May (as well as the Bank Holidays in April and May) for all staff on furlough.
I had annual leave booked in the months of April, May and June but I am now furloughed. Will this be taken out of my annual allowance?
We will be removing all annual leave bookings from Fourth (HR System) for April, May and June for furloughed staff if they continue to be furloughed during this time. If you have returned to work but no longer wish to take this leave, please contact your line manager.
I bought additional annual leave via the flexible benefits platform to use in the 2020 holiday year. I no longer wish to purchase these holiday days. Can I change my mind?
You can request (via the HR team) to stop your monthly deductions for additional annual leave. Refunds for deductions already made will not be processed, but you will be able to take any leave ‘purchased’ (albeit a prorated amount) this holiday year.
What happens to annual leave arrangements for employees who are working?
Employees who are working should continue to book leave as normal. If the Club’s position changes on this, we will advise you.
I have been asked to take furlough leave, what is it?
Furlough leave means that, although you remain an employee of the Club, you are not required to attend or carry out work. It is similar to a sabbatical.
How long will I be on furlough leave for?
Those who have been asked to take furlough leave were initially asked to do so until the end of May (in line with the Government scheme). For most staff this will be extended into June and possibly beyond. We will be writing to staff towards the end of May to confirm this.
How are staff being selected to return from furlough?
Staff are being asked to return to work who have relevant skills for the services we will are providing or who needed to perform particular roles.
When can furloughed staff be asked to come back from furlough leave?
We may ask employees to return from furlough leave at any time. It is essential that you remain available to return, possibly at short notice.
I have been advised by my GP that I must ‘shield’ (remain at home) until the end of June. Will I have to return to work if asked?
Staff that have long term health conditions and have been advised that they are more vulnerable to COVID-19 will not be asked to return to work whilst shielding. We will be asking staff to notify us in the coming weeks if they fall into this group.
I am a primary carer for children. Will I have to return to work if asked?
Staff that have children below the age of 16 (who act as a primary carer for them) will be consulted prior to being asked to return to work. It is important that appropriate arrangements can be made and school reopening is factored into any decisions reached.
Am I still employed by the Club if I am furloughed?
Yes, you are still employed if you are furloughed. The leave is designed to enable employers to retain staff members that are not able to work due to the impact of COVID-19 on their workplace.
How will I stay in touch when furloughed? Who will update me?
Regular updates for staff will be sent by email and they will be posted on this page and the staff information page. If you have any employment related queries, please contact the HR Team via email: email@example.com.
I have been furloughed but my colleagues haven’t. What was the selection criteria?
Some employees have been asked to continue actively working at the Club as some tasks need to be performed even if the clubhouses are closed. Employees were selected based on job roles and skills.
Can I do other work or volunteer (e.g. for the NHS) if I am furloughed?
You can volunteer for the NHS or other charitable organisations whilst you are on furlough leave so long as you do not receive pay for this work. Out of courtesy, please advise your line manager or a member of the HR team if you are undertaking voluntary work. Please note that you may be asked to return from furlough leave before the end of May if there is an operational requirement for you to do so.
What happens if I am ill when furloughed?
The Club continues to care about your wellbeing and would ask that you notify the HR Team if you are unwell via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Will I still need to pay for staff accommodation if I am furloughed?
Yes, employees living in staff accommodation are still required to pay their normal fees.
I am currently on maternity leave. Will I be furloughed too?
Please seek guidance from a member of the HR Team.
I am on a casual contract. Will I be furloughed and receive pay?
We have written to all casual members of staff who we have been placed on furlough leave.
I work for the Club as a freelancer. Does the furlough scheme apply to me too?
There is a separate Government scheme for the self-employed, which you will need to apply to directly, not through the Club.