Move will save the organisation an estimated £15.8m every four weeks

Palestra in Southwark – one of TfL’s three office hubs

Transport for London has announced it is to place a quarter of its staff on furlough leave from Monday. It says the move will allow the organisation to access funding from the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, saving the TfL an estimated £15.8m every four weeks.

TfL says furloughing staff will also partly reduce the huge financial impact of coronavirus whilst “constructive discussions” continue with government on the wider revenue support that TfL will need to continue the effective operation of London’s transport network.

Employees affected by the move are those who work has been reduced or paused as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. TfL says it has carefully assessed which roles within the organisation are suitable for the scheme, ensuring that all staff required for recovery planning and delivery are retained.

A total of 7,000 staff will be placed on furlough, for an initial period of three weeks. TfL will pay the remainder of salaries of all furloughed employees and continue to pay pension contributions, to ensure that people are supported.

“The transport network is crucial in the fight to tackle coronavirus and it will play a similarly vital role in supporting the country’s economy as it recovers from the pandemic,” said Mike Brown, London’s transport commissioner.

“We have significantly cut our costs over recent years but nevertheless the success of encouraging the vast majority of people to stay at home has seen our main revenue, fares, reduce by%. We are now taking steps to use the government’s Job Retention Scheme to further reduce our costs where work has been paused because of the virus, while at the same time supporting our staff financially.

“Our work with the government about the support that we need are ongoing and are constructive. We hope for an urgent agreement so that we can continue to provide the city with the vital transport it needs now and going forward.”