Landlords and restaurant owners have called on the Government to end the furlough scheme to help offset a recruitment crisis, saying that those on furlough would rather stay at home than come out and work. There are 188,000 job vacancies in hospitality where more than 250,000 workers remain on furlough. The Sun on Sunday has the story.
[Some owners] are so short-staffed, some have been offering £1,000 joining-up bonuses to coax back uncertain workers.
They blame the £63 billion Government pay scheme, as would-be recruits prefer to stay home and take state cash.
The Sun on Sunday can reveal U.K.-wide there are 700,000 job vacancies, including 188,000 in hospitality alone where more than 250,000 remain on furlough.
The scheme does not stop until the end of September, amid uncertainty over the economy.
But experts fear some have now lost the will to work. Professor Len Shackleton, from the Institute of Economic Affairs, said: “Furlough has been a great success but has gone on for far too long.
“We should wind it up and get back to reality. We should not be holding back new businesses which need workers in a vain attempt to keep old businesses alive.”
Furlough began in March last year to stop firms laying off staff, or collapsing, during lockdown.
Some 11.5 million workers have been furloughed, with 4.2 million still on the handout at the end of March this year. It has helped keep unemployment at around five%.
A Treasury spokesman said: “Furlough means two million fewer people will have lost their jobs.
“We went long with furlough to avoid a cliff edge and ensure as many jobs as possible are protected.”
But it is down to employers to stop the payouts, by ceasing to apply for the state to pay 80% of a worker’s wages.
Meanwhile, trade body U.K. Hospitality says 15% of its workers, or around 270,000, are reluctant to come off furlough, over fears of another lockdown.
U.K. Hospitality’s Chief Executive Kate Nicholls said: “Furlough is still essential, helping to make sure jobs are protected over the summer.
“But it could be tightened up to ensure it is not masking problems in our economy and protecting jobs that are no longer there.
“Lots of people are trying to recruit and in some parts of the country there are vacancies that they cannot fill.”
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