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  • by Trevor Loveday

Largest water firms forego government furlough support during pandemic

Britain’s largest water companies have declared they will  forego using the furlough support scheme for any of their employees during the Covid pandemic. Meanwhile a number of smaller water firms have applied for help under the government scheme.

The companies that have joined together to announce that they have no intention of using the Government’s furlough scheme include: Yorkshire Water, United Utilities, Severn Trent, South West Water, Anglian Water, Thames Water, Northumbrian Water, Wessex Water, Scottish Water and Welsh Water. 

Yorkshire Water said “would like to avoid putting any additional strain on the taxpayer-funded scheme, to ensure that customers do not end up ‘paying twice’ for their water and sanitation services. Chief executive, Liz Barber, (pictured) said: “I am making a heartfelt promise to reassure all staff that we will not be using the Government’s furlough scheme or making any staffing reductions in this period.

Thames Water’s human resources director, Lynne Graham, said: “We’re continuously looking at the impact of coronavirus on our business and adapting.

“A key part of our continuity plan includes looking at how we can bring in extra staff or redeploy existing staff elsewhere in the business to fill critical roles should they be required. But we certainly need everyone, and therefore have no intention of furloughing any of our employees. “

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