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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

COVID-19 Legal FAQ: paying supply teachers during lockdown

Legal news and views

Bunmi  Adefuye avatar

Written by Bunmi Adefuye


The question I am going to answer today is whether there is an obligation on schools to pay supply teachers when schools are closed during the lockdown. The answer is, strictly speaking, when supply teachers are not working and they engage under contract for services like other agency workers, they typically don’t get paid.

However, as a result of Covid-19, the Cabinet Office issued a procurement policy notice last month and the policy note deals with public bodies pay suppliers invoices from the 1st March for three months, which includes the workers pay of up to 80 percent of their wages, capped up to £2,500. Also, a percentage of the supplier’s margin and statutory costs.

The payment is only applicable to workers whose assignments were live, but terminated as a result of Covid-19. The policy note must be complied with by central government departments, but unfortunately other public bodies such as local authorities, schools and NHS Trusts are simply encouraged to pay the invoices but they are not mandated to pay these supply invoices.

As a result of the reluctance from schools and local authorities to pay the invoices, the DFE has issued guidance instructing them to pay and we, the REC, have written to the Secretary of State for Education asking him to do the same.

For more information on this, please have a look at the REC’s Coronavirus Hub. In the meantime, please stay safe and take care.

Bunmi Adefuye is a solicitor at the REC.