A petition that asks the government to include ‘on target earnings’ (OTE) income within its furlough scheme calculations is gathering thousands of signatures.
The initiative has been launched after the government revealed that the calculations it uses to work out how much furloughed staff will be paid says: “Fees, commission and bonuses should not be included”.
This has caused an outcry among property industry employees who rely heavily on sales commission from fees and who are now being furloughed using their basic salaries to calculate payments, which means thousands are being paid much less to live on than compared to non-commission employees, it is claimed.
“It’s outrageous that [the government] is happy to take tax from our commission but not honour this in furlough payments,” says negotiator Lily Maxwell on Twitter.
“I have contacted my local MP – we need to make lots of noise about this.”
The petition has been started by the Independent Motor Dealers Association, which has reached out to The Negotiator to ask property industry OTE employees to help it reach 25,000 signatures.
As it stands the petition has been signed by 15,396 people.
“I need to get a decent pay to survive, I pay for a household on my salary and I’ve paid tax (most times 40%) on my salary. Why shouldn’t I get my commission included in the 80%,” says David Gemmell, one of the salespeople who has already signed it.
Estate agencies can claim for 80% of furloughed employees’ usual monthly wage costs, up to £2,500 a month, plus the associated Employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment employer pension contributions on that wage.