The end of furlough is fast approaching which means it's all change (again) for those who, due to the coronavirus pandemic, have been enrolled on the government's job retention scheme. And, with 1.9 million people still on furlough, that's quite a lot of change for quite a lot of people. Such change can not only be incredibly worrying for your finances and career but also for your mental health. To try and allay some of this worry, we are answering your questions on the end of furlough, from when furlough ends right to what it means for you.
The furlough scheme has been winding down for some months now, since businesses have been permitted to reopen. However, furlough will officially end on 30th September 2021.
That means, if your employer chooses to keep you on the scheme right until the deadline, you could have just two payrolls left until the end of furlough.
With most legal restrictions relating to Covid-19 now lifted, the government are hoping that most of those who are on furlough will be asked to return to work. Therefore, going back to work may be an option for you.
Sadly, redundancy or reduced hours may also be a possibility if you are coming off furlough. The British Chamber of Commerce (BCC) has reported that 18% of companies plan to make redundancies following the end of the job retention scheme. Meanwhile, 24% plan to reduce hours or make staff part time. Both of these scenarios mean financial worry and job insecurity for a lot of British workers. Add to this that 13% of companies asked are planning to scale back recruitment drives, and this means that sadly we could see a spike in unemployment following the end of furlough.
With the furlough deadline fast approaching, your employer should soon be letting you know whether you will be returning to work or being made redundant. The furlough scheme does not waive your statutory right to a fully paid notice period, so check your contract and ensure you receive your full notice period after being taken off furlough.
From the BCC's figures, it is clear that, despite restrictions easing, companies have far from resumed business as usual. However, both Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak have both reaffirmed that furlough will not be extended again.
There is a possibility that, if cases rise and restrictions are reimposed, that the job retention scheme could be brought back in one way or another, however, it is unwise to rely on this.
Again, due to the easing of restrictions it is unlikely there will be a similar financial support scheme put in place after furlough.
However, that doesn't mean there isn't support out there. The end of furlough will mean a massive shift in finances and jobs as well as a potential surge in mental health concerns. There is a wealth of measures out there to support in all three of these areas. In fact, there are so many that we have outlined them in a separate blog: What Support Is Available After Furlough
We hope we have managed to answer some of your questions regarding the end of furlough. If you are worried about the impact that the end of furlough will have on your finances, then use our online debt advice tool to find out what options are available for you.
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