Employers contributing to furlough is "reasonable": Treasury Committee chair

12 May 2020, 16:35

Chair of Treasury Select Committee outlines furlough plans for employers

By Seán Hickey

Employers helping the government to pay furloughed staff down the line will avoid a drop off in payments to employees in the long run.

The Chair of the Treasury Select Committee Mel Stride was speaking to Shelagh Fogarty in the wake of new furlough conditions and addressed the questions of new guidelines for employers, who may have to help the government foot the bill and pay their employees a fraction of the 80% of their salary.

Shelagh was taking calls on the matter before Mr Stride came on air and told him she "had some employers on saying they don't think they can start to contribute as early as August" of which is the initial guideline of the government on employer contributions.

The Conservative MP insisted that "this is a slow easing in the actual scheme of furloughing" and could see the sense in asking employers to help the government pay staff. He pointed out that the strategy of Rishi Sunak is "avoiding the scheme just suddenly cut dead at the end of June" and encouraging employers to bring themselves back to business.

"It isn't unreasonable to expect employers to make a contribution" Mr Stride said, adding that it is an "opportunity to take employees back into the business on a part time basis."

The Chancellor announced plans to get employers to contribute to furlough payments
The Chancellor announced plans to get employers to contribute to furlough payments. Picture: PA

After the government has subsidised the salary of UK workers, Shelagh couldn't help noticing how this will change the economy for good. "The shape of our nations funding of the economy will possibly be forever changed by these events" she told the chair of the Treasury Select Committee.

Mr Stride agreed and cited social distancing as a major factor in the change. He gave an airport analogy and spoke about boarding a plane in the future. "If that plane were to be full you'd have a queue around a kilometre long" he revealed.

The Conservative MP stressed that the government have their work cut out and have a massive task ahead in preserving the economy and jobs in the coming months. "It's going to be the job of government to get the vaccine, to get us through but equally to support the economy to the very best extent it can so we can preserve jobs" he said.

READ MORE: The new rules of lockdown explained

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