In the week after applications for government′s Job Retention Scheme launched on 20 April, Citizens Advice gave one-to-one employment advice to almost 4,200 workers. An analysis of a randomised sample of a tenth of these cases showed:
- Over 70 per cent of those who were shielding or are at higher risk from coronavirus were not furloughed by their employers.
- This rose to around 80 per cent when including workers living with someone who is either shielding or at higher risk from coronavirus.
- More than 50 per cent of workers overall had not been furloughed despite being eligible.
Some of these workers had been put on Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) and were facing huge financial difficulties.
Given this gross lack of help from bosses, the most vulnerable need to be particularly defended from any pressure to get back to work as the lockdown eases.
They need to be able to stay home longer than others. As Citizen′s Advice rightly point out they not only need a better, more consistent package of financial support from the government that support needs to continue for many weeks more.
* Citizens Advice https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/