Corby's largest employer will pay furloughed staff out of its own pocket instead of relying on government handout

RS Components says it will pay furloughed staff full salaries itself after a 'strong year'

By Kate Cronin
Monday, 8th June 2020, 10:00 am

RS Components, which employs around 2,000 staff at its Lammas Road site in Corby, says it will not access the government scheme to pay its furloughed staff.

Instead, it will pay them 100 per cent of their wages out of its own profits.

The electrocomponents manufacturer and distributor has been in Corby since 1984 and is known in the town for its favourable working conditions. Many people stay at the firm for their entire working career.

RS Components, Lammas Road, Corby. Picture: Alison Bagley

At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic it was forced to furlough a number of its own staff due to a projected tail-off in business across all sectors in the UK.

Those staff, who have been paid in full, will remain furloughed until July 31. As part of an unprecedented scheme, the government had offered to pay 80 per cent of the wages of any furloughed worker during the pandemic.

On June 2, RS reported 2019/20 end-of-year profits of £215m, up 2.3 per cent on the previous year. Instead of accessing the government scheme, they say that they can afford to pay furloughed workers themselves so will do so.

A statement from the company said: "Given the resilience of our business, we have taken the decision not to access the UK government furlough support scheme at the current time.

"We are a business that takes corporate responsibility and ethical practice very seriously.

"We continue to monitor our performance and bring people back into the business as and when we can."

RS Chief Executive Lindsley Ruth said: "Electrocomponents delivered a strong performance in the year ended March 31 2020 against an uncertain market backdrop and the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic which started to impact trading volumes toward the end of the year.

"During the current crisis our focus has been to safeguard the health and wellbeing of our employees, support our communities and continue to provide a reliable service to customers and suppliers, including many operating in critical industries.

"We face this new challenge with a robust balance sheet and a clear Destination 2025 strategy. Our digital leadership, global distribution network and highly committed team differentiate us.

"We are taking tactical action to protect profit and conserve cash, while also accelerating key strategic initiatives to drive scale and efficiency to ensure we come out of this crisis strongly and well-positioned for long-term value creation."