Mother London has become the first agency to confirm it is returning the money it received from the government for furloughed staff after ending the year at a profit.
In April – amid the first and most stringent lockdown – Mother looked to preserve its cash flow by putting 32 of its approximately 200 staff on furlough and introducing a salary-deferral scheme for employees paid more than £30,000.
But, amid the ongoing pandemic, Mother bolstered its client list with 16 additions – including Bumble, Doritos, Gousto and Samsung – and expanded the work it does for existing partners such as KFC, Ikea, Stella and Uber. Mother estimates its new clients account for almost 25% of this year’s revenue.
Everyone who was placed on furlough – including some production specialists and others in operational roles such as receptionists and catering – was back at work by August. Mother has now repaid hundreds of thousands of pounds it claimed for their wages to the government.
Mother originally planned to return the salary its employees deferred – which worked on a proportional sliding scale – in December 2021 but has now reimbursed all staff early as a result of the agency’s performance this year.