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England cricket and Covid-19 – County staff face return to furlough from October onwards



Staff at several first-class counties are expected to be put back on furlough at the end of this week.

ESPNcricinfo understands that several of those counties not involved in the knock-out stages of the T20 Blast will put a proportion of their staff – including players – back on furlough in October. This could include the Essex and Somerset teams which have been contesting the Bob Willis Trophy final at Lord’s in recent days.

The government’s furlough scheme was set up to counter the financial challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic. It has seen the government take responsibility for paying employees, allowing businesses to survive without laying off staff. The scheme ends at the end of October.

All but two counties (Lancashire and Surrey) put their players on furlough at the start of the summer when it became apparent that the season would be delayed. While some counties topped up the government’s furlough amount – which was originally capped at around £2500 a month – others did not. Current legislation means the government will be expected to pay 70 percent of employees’ monthly salary up to a maximum of £2,187, with the employer required to top up another 10 percent.

Other county employees, including groundstaff and administration teams, are also expected to be put back on furlough at several clubs.

Teams involved in the knock-out stages of the T20 Blast will have to wait to make a claim. The quarter-finals are due to be played on October 1 with Finals Day on October 3.

It is understood the players at counties due to be furloughed have not yet been notified of the intention.

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