Actively encouraging people back to work will be welcomed by some but many businesses won’t be able to due to not being able to maintain social distancing, said leading tax and advisory firm Blick Rothenberg.
Genevieve Morris, a partner at the firm said: ‘Many people will welcome this move, perhaps not those with small children but a large number of businesses, hair salons for example just won’t be able to.
‘For these businesses, along with all in travel and aviation and hospitality and leisure, where at the earliest they can reopen in July, the chancellors next step on the furlough scheme due next Tuesday will be make or break.’
She added: ‘If the scheme is not extended beyond June these businesses are left with no choice but to commence the six-week redundancy consultation. Of course, many of these workers are on zero-hour contracts, so we may not see the levels of unemployment spike immediately.
‘As technically they would still be employed, but with potentially zero income coming in these employees will be pushed in to poverty. Universal credit claims will spike.’
Genevieve concluded that: ‘The potential of allowing workers to work part time with the furlough still supporting them is a good idea, but flawed for businesses that can’t reopen now and with social distancing here for probably the rest of the year.
‘Many of these businesses are unlikely to survive and the ones that do will significantly cut staff numbers and won’t be in a position to bring back furloughed employees. We will have to see what rabbit the chancellor can pull out of the hat next Tuesday, but it will be a worrying time for millions of employees.’
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