British Gas has become the latest UK supplier to furlough its staff as the nationwide COVID-19 lockdown continues.
It announced today (09 April) that 3,800 of its staff members would now be put on the government's job retention scheme. As such, British Gas furloughed staff will receive 80% of their pay from the government up to £2,500 a month, and the company will top up the salaries to 100%.
Centrica, the company’s parent, has around 20,000 staff members in the UK, the majority of which work for British Gas.
A spokesperson for the company said: “Our employees are playing a vital role in keeping our customers warm and ensuring they have hot water and power to stay connected. However, we’ve had to scale back some of our operations to focus on emergency work only and looking after our vulnerable customers.
“In the short-term we are placing some colleagues, who we can’t redeploy to emergency or vulnerable operations, into furlough to protect jobs and our business.”
Meter reading, installations and annual boiler services have all been postponed by the company.
Additionally, Centrica has already announced that it is cancelling its dividend and halting its sale of Spirit Energy in response to COVID-19. The final dividend for 2019 was due to be paid in June, with the total cash outflow expected to be £204 million.