We are mothers. We are parents. We are daughters and sons who cannot support our families anymore, who are relying on Universal Credit and other benefits, because the furlough scheme is ending. We have to endure the fact that the government prefers to push us further into poverty rather than maintain our employment through the support scheme supposedly created to protect us.
We demand a furlough scheme that is indefinite and compulsory.
Throughout the pandemic, essential workers from the cleaning sector have been forgotten by the UK Government through its flawed implementation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS, or ‘furlough’). The extensions of the furlough scheme for short periods of time and the uncertainty sowed by its application as a discretionary, rather than obligatory, scheme have been a series of great mistakes. These mistakes have resulted in many job losses - the very thing furlough is intended to avoid.
We have been living the reality created by these mistakes.
As cleaners, we are amongst the worst affected workers by the pandemic. As offices remain shut, companies have already started making us redundant in anticipation of the furlough scheme ending in April. The government needs to act now.
These are the MPs and Peers who have joined our coalition to #FightForFurlough as of 10/2/21
John Hendy QC
Rebecca Long Bailey