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Theatre Workers May Be Asked to Sign a Contract Requiring Them to Pay Back Furlough Contributions When Shows Resume

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Furloughed workers currently receive 80% of their wages

Offstage workers in the UK are being asked to sign contracts that will require them to repay employer furlough contributions from their wages once shows resume, The Stage reports.

Furloughed workers currently receive 80% of their wages, up to £2,500, through the UK government's job retention scheme. Beginning in August, employers keeping workers on furlough will pay their insurance and pension contributions. Beginning in September, they will be paying 10% of wages, and 20% in October.

"Many members rely on overtime to survive as minimum rates are so low," said Association of Lighting Designers chair Johanna Town. "Having been furloughed for so long already, the lack of overtime and now having to repay their furlough money means many are thinking they will have to leave the industry to survive."

In addition, The Stage Management Association said that conversations have been happening about a clause that would require workers to cease work without pay or benefits immediately if they test positive for COVID-19.

The Stage Management Association said that as well as conversations about furlough money repayments, it is also aware of discussions about contract clauses under which which workers would be required to cease work without pay or benefits with immediate effect if they test positive for Covid-19.

Equity said it had not heard of the proposals and declined to comment to The Stage.

Read the original story on The Stage.


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