More than 100 furloughed workers join civil service as volunteers to tackle Covid-19

Volunteers are ‘using their skills for the greater good’, chief people officer says


Photo: Pixabay

By Richard Johnstone

16 Jun 2020

More than 100 people furloughed from their day jobs have joined the civil service to help in the government’s coronavirus response, the Cabinet Office has revealed.

The department launched a scheme in May to encourage people who had been furloughed under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to volunteer to help in the civil service, in roles ranging from analytical and digital projects to work focused on the frontline response to the virus. Most departments have received staff from the scheme, the Cabinet Office told CSW, with cohorts in the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Work and Pensions and the Department for International Trade.

The government’s chief people officer, Rupert McNeil, said he was pleased to see “so many people get involved in this important scheme which supports the national effort in maintaining public services during the Covid-19 crisis”.


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He added: “I thank everyone who has been involved from the businesses, government departments, civil service HR colleagues, and particularly the volunteers themselves, who are applying their transferable skills for the greater public good.”

Volunteers received all the training necessary to work in central government and went through all the necessary security checks. Companies whose employees took part in the project include: Harvey Nichols, British Airways, Wincanton, Eastern Airways, easyJet, DFS, Gobeyond Partners, Hays, Heathrow Airport, Marstons, Moto, Superdrug, TUI, the British Council, The Football Association and David Lloyd Leisure. All of the volunteers gave as many hours as they were able to and continued to be paid their agreed salary or furlough rate from their usual employer.

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