To: All Staff
From: Andrew Hulcoop
Re: Temporary Business Closure
Date: 24 March 2020
Pleased find as promised the latest update with regard to COVID-19.
Following on from last night’s announcement we made the immediate decision to close the business. This means we will need to ‘furlough’our staff who are now unable to work. We have a few people in the businesses today tidying up loose ends and making sure we’re as much in control as possible for the weeks ahead.
It has emerged that whilst car showrooms are under strict rules to close their doors, the aftersales facilities are allowed to continue to operate. Our Management board has reviewed the latest policies and have decided that our aftersales operations will operate an emergency service. Our decision to do this is based very much on us wanting to support key workers of whom there are plenty and these people are key to the country continuing to operate.
Anthony and his team are working on the specifics of this and within the next few days we will be clear as to how this will operate; this will shortly be communicated. Our decision not to simply re open the doors is as much about the protection of our staff as it is about encouraging people to go about their daily lives. Collectively we must break this virus and the quicker we can do this then the sooner we can all return to work and get on with our lives.
A few of the people on site today are here to process the payroll and I guess you all consider their journey to be one of essential travel! Payroll will be processed in the normal way, albeit those people who are not in the business or who haven’t got specific work from home duties, will be paid 80% of their basic salary for the days not in the business. Therefore, we will pay 100% of basic up until close of business yesterday and 80% from this morning onwards. If we have underpaid anyone in this payroll, we will ensure that this is corrected in April. Going forward we plan to pay everyone at 80% of their basic salaries with the exception of a few people. Further details on the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be sent to you from HR.
We will continue to communicate on a fairly frequent basis as to what is happening in the business and any government changes that may impact you. Whilst the PM suggested that the position would be reviewed in three weeks-time, I would be extremely surprised if we are back to normal before the beginning of May at the very earliest.
It is imperative that during this period of partial lockdown you adhere to the policies set out by the government. With the exception of all but ESSENTIAL travel you should be in isolation and the more we adhere to this then the quicker we are likely to return to normal. As a business we need this period of disruption to be kept to a minimum as for each month we are closed, the business is losing £750,000 and losses like this can’t be sustained forever.
Equally as important is that you look after yourselves and those around you. I know there are a number of people with underlying health issues and plenty more of you with vulnerable people at home and the health of you all is of paramount concern.