Championship club Newcastle Falcons have placed all their players and staff on furlough – a period of unpaid leave – because of coronavirus.
The club have written to all staff about the decision and asked for their formal consent to the move.
And the Falcons admit they do not know when they may be able to return.
Coronavirus forces Newcastle Falcons to place all staff on unpaid leave https://t.co/3ejGLiGQhX— BBC North East and Cumbria (@BBCNEandCumbria) March 26, 2020
Newcastle were 18 points clear at the top of the second tier before the Rugby Football Union ended the division’s 2019-20 campaign earlier this month.
What does furlough mean?!
Among the Chancellor’s plans is a huge bailout to cover the wages of millions of UK workers.
The Government has pledged to cover 80 percent of salaries up to £2,500 per month, with all employers able to apply to HMRC to pay the wages of people who are furloughed.
An employee furlough is when bosses require their staff to take unpaid leaves of absence.
In other words, they’ll still technically be employed but won’t work or get paid.
The Gov.UK website states: “If your employer intends to access the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, they will discuss with you becoming classified as a furloughed worker. This would mean that you are kept on your employer’s payroll, rather than being laid off.
“To qualify for this scheme, you should not undertake work for them while you are furloughed. This will allow your employer to claim a grant of up to 80% of your wage for all employment costs, up to a cap of £2,500 per month.
“You will remain employed while furloughed. Your employer could choose to fund the differences between this payment and your salary, but does not have to.”
RANKED | 5 best players in Newcastle Falcons history
5. Doddie Weir
In June 2017, it was made public that Weir was suffering from Motor Neurone Disease. Weir announced his diagnosis via Twitter in order to promote Global MND Awareness Day.
He has since set up a foundation named ‘My Name’s Doddie’ in order to ‘raise funds for research into a cure for MND and to provide grants to people living with the condition’.