MORE than 400 council staff have been furloughed across Gwent since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

Three of the five Gwent councils – Newport, Monmouthshire and Blaenau Gwent – furloughed members of their workforce using the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme.

As public bodies are publicly funded, councils are only able to access the furlough scheme when they are able to demonstrate that services have only been significantly or exclusively sustained by external income sources.


A total of 404 staff have been furloughed across the Gwent councils, with Monmouthshire County Council accounting for more than half.

Monmouthshire council has furloughed 251 staff - primarily people working at leisure centres, the Borough Theature, cultural and heritage attractions and the Outdoor Education Service.

Blaenau Gwent County Borough Council has furloughed 140 staff members. These are mainly school-based non-teaching staff such as cleaners and caterers.

This was due to school closures and the operation of just a small number of childcare hubs for key workers. They will be brought back to work for the start of the new academic year in September.

Newport City Council, furloughed 13 members of its workforce.

The city council said they were furloughed at the end of April because the service they provided ceased due to lockdown and they met the criteria. All 13 are on full pay and will return to at some point in the future.

Caerphilly County Borough Council and Torfaen County Borough Council were the only two in Gwent not to make use of the scheme.

Caerphilly and Torfaen councils both said that no staff were furloughed to support flexibility and enable redeployment to services that were critical as part of the coronavirus pandemic response.