Furloughing - flexibility needed
The current furlough scheme is not working as it should in all cases. As things stand, the Treasury’s all or nothing approach is a barrier to organisations sustaining their businesses. Fractional working would make a significant difference to employers and employees, neither of whom are best served by the current set up.
I have been calling on the UK Government to take a flexible approach to the resolving some of the employment issues, such as this, arising from the coronavirus crisis. It is clear that we can't and shouldn't simply go back to the same old systems after lockdown is over.
I welcome reports that the UK Treasury is in now talks with employers to fix a lack of flexibility in the current furlough scheme for those unable to work during the coronavirus pandemic. However it will be important that this actually happens and in a way which meets the emerging needs. I hope that the UK Treasury is finally bowing to pressure on this issue from the SNP and industry. The Chancellor must now accept the pressing need for greater flexibility in the UK government’s furlough scheme.
It’s very clear that there also needs to be the ability to gradually move back to a new normal when the time comes to transition out of lockdown. A more flexible scheme is critical to allowing that to happen with the greatest prospect of success.
The future of work will not be us all reverting back to the way things were. It is neither possible nor desirable. From the perspective of someone with 25 years of experience in HR and related fields, I believe that this is the time for us to look very seriously at how jobs, workplaces and employment fit together, and take this opportunity to build in the increased flexibility, and focus on greater fairness, which we will need in the years ahead.