The End is Near (For the U.K.’s Furlough Scheme)
What is it?
You’ve probably heard of furlough before. It’s usually a short-term scheme in which an employee is paid some fraction of their normal wage to not work, owed to some financial pressures on the company, or some wider economic issue.
When COVID fiercely hit Western Europe, countries handled all aspects of the unprecedented pandemic quite differently. Within the United Kingdom (a term that may sound a bit facetious at the moment), the devolved nations put forth different restrictions on mask-wearing, gatherings and return to school. The U.K. government as a whole however was united in its Job Retention Scheme (furlough). Eligible employees (those not self-employed I believe) could have 80% of their wages covered up to £2,500 per month during the worst of the turmoil.
When does it end?
As of the time of this writing, the furlough scheme is set to expire on 31 October. Some workers are already back to modified schedules, or even full-time, however; many may not return to the role they once had. Companies worst hit by the crushing economic conditions caused by the health crisis may have to let valuable employees go and downsize. We all have short memories, but this happened in 2008-9, albeit in good collective health.