Grace Cheng successfully defends English Heritage in claim by Stonehenge employee for alleged unpaid furlough pay

01 April 2022

Grace Cheng represented The English Heritage Trust in a claim for unauthorised deduction from wages relating to furlough pay. The charity successfully defended the claim.

The claimant had been employed by English Heritage as a Historic Property Steward and a Stone Circle Experience Host at the Stonehenge site - said to be the world’s most famous prehistoric monument.

The claim related to the claimant’s role as Historic Property Steward only, not to her role as Stone Circle Experience Host.

It was based on the claimant’s allegation that between January to April 2021, she was or should have been placed on furlough under the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. Therefore, she argued, she should have received furlough pay.

The Employment Tribunal had to determine:
• whether the claimant received less wages than she should have been paid between January to April 2021; and
• if so, how much was she owed.

Employment tribunal’s findings
The tribunal considered aspects of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, as well as section 13 of the Employment Rights Act 1996.

It found that:
• in respect of the claimant’s role as Historic Property Steward, she was not entitled to be placed on furlough between January and April 2021 as she did not have a contractual agreement to that effect
• her claim for deduction from wages failed and was dismissed.