The CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, welcomes the extension of the furlough scheme to help employers to plan for and save jobs in those sectors directly impacted through this period of lockdowns and loss of business. At the same time, the CIPD would urge government to also provide more support for those people who do lose their jobs with funding for training, coaching and support to find alternative work.
Responding to the Government decision to continue the furlough scheme to end of March, Peter Cheese, CIPD chief executive, commented:
“Employers have been left confused by the Government’s plans to protect jobs over the last few weeks, with many redundancies triggered over the uncertainty around the end of the furlough scheme and the introduction of two new Job Support Schemes.
“We are pleased the Government has put in place more certainty by extending the furlough scheme until March so employers in the worst hit sectors have more time to plan ahead, but also to help minimise redundancies over the difficult winter period.
"Employers across the UK understand the furlough scheme, which supports short-term working. It can be tweaked to reduce the level of Government subsidy when appropriate if restrictions are eased or to increase conditionality so furlough support only goes to firms that need it. Any changes to the furlough extension should be communicated to businesses in good time.
“Jobs have already been lost unnecessarily through short-term thinking because of the lack of longer term certainty of support, and it is crucial policy makers try and look further ahead and work with employers to help them plan forwards and protect employment as much as possible.
“We would also urge government to provide more support for those people who do lose their jobs with funding for training, coaching and support to find alternative work.”
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