Get In Touch

My Fortel   
Connect with us        


We are working to support our workforce As soon as detailed guidance is issued about the Furlough & Job Retention Scheme we will provide a further update. Until then, it's business as usual.

At present our clients, guided by Government, advise that they wish us to support them in continuing work and keeping sites open - with the assurance from each of us that we are vigilant and responsible as our Government advise. There may be cases in which some projects are temporarily closed during the COVID-19 pandemic and there may be some projects that remain open, but with a reduced temporary worker cohort in order to comply with Government social distancing instructions. Where your assignment through us is no longer available due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we will seek to enact the Government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme available for all PAYE workers and classify you as a 'furloughed worker'.


Q. What is furlough?

A. Furlough means to take a leave of absence.

Q. Will my fixed term employment contract or temporary worker PAYE contract be terminated?

A. No, your contract will not terminate.

Q. What remuneration will I receive from you?

A. If you are furloughed the Government has made provisions to employers to subsidise 80% of the total cost of workers wages. This support is capped to a maximum of £2,500 per month which includes employer costs and HMRC taxes.

Q. I do not get a fixed amount each week, how will you work out what my earnings will be?

A. We await further guidance from the Government and will be in touch.

Q. If my normal wages are reduced during the period of being furloughed is there any additional support available?

A. Yes, you may be eligible for universal credit to top up your wages, please refer to Government advice on the matter.

Q. I am not a PAYE worker but paid under CIS, though a limited company or other self-employed route, can I be furloughed?

A. As yet the Government scheme is for PAYE workers.

Q. Where can I find more information?

A. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-to-employers-and-businesses-about-covid-19/covid-19-guidance-for-employees

Q. Will I be paid if I self-isolate?

All PAYE staff are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) with payment starting from day 1 of absence. https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay/eligibility

Q. How do I claim SSP?

A. Report your absence to your place of work and Fortel or SkyBlue representative in the usual way (or email us at ask@skybluesolutions.co.uk) and we can start the SSP process for you. You will need to complete ether:- Employee's Statement of Sickness self-certification form https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/statutory-sick-pay-employees-statement-of-sickness-sc2 or NHS Isolation Note https://111.nhs.uk/isolation-note Email this through to your Fortel or SkyBlue representatives or ask@skybluesolutions.co.uk If you do not qualify for SSP, you may be entitled to other means of financial support including Universal Credit https://www.gov.uk/universal-credit

Q. Will my salary sacrifice pension agreement change?

A. HMRC declared the pandemic qualifies as a 'life event' and as such if furloughed we will ask you to agree to a temporary variation to your employment terms and conditions for calculation of statutory deductions and auto enrolment pension contributions without salary sacrifice. Please note that standard pension contributions will continue unless HMRC issue further guidance.

Q. What happens if my place of work closes and my assignment is no longer available due to the COVID-19 pandemic?

A. We will endeavour to find you an alternative assignment where possible. If one is not available we will evaluate what alternative measures are available, this will include reviewing if you would qualify to be classified a furloughed worker under the governments Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme available for PAYE workers. Our aim is to ensure we retain as many of our temporary workers where possible as it is highly likely your assignments will become available again within a short period of time. We are awaiting further clarity on the scheme announced last Friday and will be providing additional information shortly.


With our Business Continuity Plan enacted and in place, Fortel SkyBlue remain fully operational, supporting clients, staff and workforce in the face of the COVID-19 challenges. The safety and wellbeing of all is central to our delivery. Our decisions and actions are defined by the direction of government, the NHS and their expert advisers.

Our responsibility : Stop coronavirus spreading

Wherever possible, we have mobilised people to work remotely from their home. The resilience of our business systems ensures that we can continue maintain business support for the critical infrastructure services that our people deliver.

Responding to a fast changing situation

We will provide updated information and links to guidance on our website, to our workforce directly, and through our social media channels.

We are here to help and advise you

Please contact us for any advice or support you need through the following channels:-

enquries@fortel.co.uk General concerns or queries and Fortel recruitment activities
ask@skybluesolutions.co.uk General concerns or queries and SkyBlue recruitment activities
payroll@fortel.co.uk Fortel payroll queries or concerns
governanceteam@skybluesolutions.co.uk HSEQ concerns, observations, incidents, suggestions
centraladmin@skybluesolutions.co.uk SkyBlue payroll queries or concerns

Our Fortel and Skyblue Account and Contract Managers remain directly contactable via phone and email.
We understand that this is a challenging and worrying time for all. We have concentrated key guidance and support advice together here which we hope makes sourcing coronavirus information in relation to you, your workplace and your health easy to do.

Current workplace advice and essential guidance

Many people within our workforce in places such as prisons and hospitals have been identified as Key Workers. There will be working practises in place to ensure the protection of the workforce to minimise the risk of infection. These practices, in line with the latest Government advice on social distancing also apply to other critical infrastructure services and construction sites. In addition to specific measures, the particular health and safety control and management requirements of any activity must not be compromised. If an operation cannot be undertaken safely, or is compromised in any way as a consequence of infection prevention measures (a key example being social distancing), the operation should not be carried out.

The government has advised that where a work site is not consistently implementing protective measures in line with their guidance, it may be required to shut down.

Anyone who meets one of the following criteria should not come to a work site

  • Has a high temperature or a new persistent cough - follow the guidance on self-isolation https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-advice/
  • Is a vulnerable person (by virtue of their age, underlying health condition, clinical condition or are pregnant) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-guidance-on-social-distancing-and-for-vulnerable-people/guidance-on-social-distancing-for-everyone-in-the-uk-and-protecting-older-people-and-vulnerable-adults
  • If you do have COVID-19 symptoms, you should self-isolate at home. You should not go to your GP, pharmacy or hospital. If your symptoms persist for more than 7 days, contact the NHS 111 Online Service. https://111.nhs.uk/service/COVID-19/

Fortel - SkyBlue Worker Support: Keep us informed so we can help

If you have to self-isolate because you are designated a vulnerable person, receive a letter from the government classifying you as a vulnerable person, suffer coronavirus symptoms or live with someone who has coronavirus symptoms, please contact your Fortel or SkyBlue representative or email us at ask@skybluesolutions.co.uk . We can help advise you as to what to do next and arrange support where necessary.

Employee Assist Programme

Whilst we ask you to reach out to us if you need help or support in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak, please do not forget that we have an Employee Assist Programme that can help and support you with any concerns or issues that you have. Now, more than ever, it is appropriate to reach out and get the support you need to ensure the ongoing health and mental wellbeing of you and the families you support.
We thank you for your ongoing dedication and hard work.
Take care, follow guidance, flag concerns into us and stay safe.



As the impact of coronavirus is felt across the UK, you may be worried about how it could affect you and your home. Your peace of mind is still our top priority. To help you, we have listed some of the high street banks and links going straight to their mortgage payment holiday request form.

A payment holiday is when you temporarily stop paying all or part of your monthly mortgage payment.

If we have not listed your mortgage provider please get in touch with your own mortgage provider for further details.

If the coronavirus has affected your income, you may wish to take a mortgage payment holiday.

Its quite simple with some providers just asking for a small amount of details:

1. Name    2. Telephone    3. Mortgage Acc Number