Worcester Warriors have admitted they have the furloughed the majority of Alan Solomons’ first-team squad. RugbyPass reported on Wednesday how England’s dozen Premiership rugby clubs had started informing players they were being furloughed – placed on unpaid leave – during the coronavirus pandemic.

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The development left the Rugby Players Association picking up the pieces and advising players of their legal position in relation to their contracts.

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The move was the latest by clubs to try and avoid going out of business, the furlough measure following on from the initial across the board 25 per cent salary cut tactic adopted following a crisis meeting a fortnight ago by the league’s clubs. 

Worcester have now revealed they have applied to the government scheme launched on March 20. It allows for 80 per cent of an employee’s usual monthly wage costs, up to a ceiling of £2,500 a month, to be claimed following registration through the HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs).

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In a statement issued by the club on Thursday evening, the Warriors explained: “Worcester Warriors, like many other businesses, have applied to join the coronavirus job retention scheme which has been set up by the Government to support companies and protect jobs as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic.

“As Sixways has been in lockdown for almost two weeks and Premiership Rugby have postponed all matches until April 20, Warriors, along with other Premiership clubs and professional sports clubs in general, face financial challenges, not least cash-flow.

“The majority of our staff – playing and non-playing – will become furloughed workers which means that they will still be employed by Warriors but no work can be done while they are confined to home by the social distancing regulations. This does not prevent players from training while they are at home.

“A number of staff have been identified as essential workers and they will continue to work from home as employees and will not be furloughed workers.

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“We hope that these measures will help us to protect the jobs of our loyal and dedicated staff in these unprecedented times. We thank our staff for their understanding and patience in difficult circumstances.”

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