Barratt Homes furloughs 5,200 workers

Housebuilder Barratt Homes has furloughed about 80 per cent of its workforce of 6,500.

The move will see around 5,200 workers placed on leave. Barratt will top up employees’ salaries so that they receive full pay, in light of the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme only covering 80 per cent of salaries, capped at £2,500 per month.

A spokesman for the housebuilder said: “We are furloughing a large proportion of our employees as we have temporarily closed our sales centres, construction sites and offices. We will be topping up furloughed employees’ pay so that they are still paid 100 per cent of their normal income.”

Barratt was among the first housebuilders to close its sites after the government announced a national lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crest Nicholson said in a market statement last week that it was furloughing three-quarters of its staff to “protect its balance sheet and prioritise cashflow”.

The statement added: “We will ensure that these employees receive their full pay entitlement until the end of May when we will review our furlough arrangements.”

The firm’s board also said it would donate 20 per cent of their salaries to charity while workers remain furloughed.

Housebuilder Redrow revealed last week it had furloughed 80 per cent of its workforce. The firm also secured a £300m government-backed loan to help it through the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for housebuilder Countryside said “some workers” were on the furlough scheme and were being paid their full salaries.

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