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Derry's council to temporarily lay off 200 employees due to the impact of the coronavirus crisis

Local authority to put forward a large number of staff members for furlough scheme

Guildhall

Staff at the Guildhall will be among those furloughed by the local council.

Derry City and Strabane District Council is to furlough 200 employees, it was revealed this afternoon.

It recently emerged that local councils are eligble to temporarily lay off staff as part of the furlough scheme introduced by the government to support businesses and organisations during the coronavirus pandemic.

At a meeting today, Derry City and Strabane District Council revealed that it would be furloughing 200 of its staff.

The staff affected mainly work in the council's leisure and museum facilities, as well as the Guildhall and the Alley Theatre in Strabane.

However, not all those who work at these locations will be temporarily laid off, the meeting was told, as some have already been transferred to other roles.

The meeting was told that all the staff affected would receive 100% of their salary during the period they are on furlough.

Council chief executive John Kelpie stressed that there would be no change to the employees' terms and conditions of employment during the furlough period.

He said it was a temporary measure to help the council through the current difficulties.

It emerged at the meeting that the council is currently losing around £700,000 a month because of the coronavirus pandemic - https://bit.ly/2zmWkUc

Mr Kelpie added that the furloughing of the council staff was not a 'fait au compli' as an application for the temporary lay-offs must now be made to the government's treasury department.

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