The Unite has called on the government to say it will expand its implementation scheme or face the “gateway” opened in Britain.
Many workers can expect a “miserable Christmas”
The government’s program for completion will end on October 31.
A Finance Ministry spokesman said the government “did not hesitate to act in a creative and effective way to support jobs and we will continue to do so”.
Wednesday marks 45 days before the end of the grant scheme, which is the same time that employers must set aside for a notice of redundancy.
The Unite union said Wednesday that without a “clear and urgent sign” from the government that it is responding to calls for an extension of the scheme, it fears that “employers facing short-term struggles will issue notice of redundancies”.
Calls for extension numbers
MEPs, business groups, unions and political opponents have called on the government to continue the program, in which workers on leave receive 80% of their salary, up to a maximum of £ 2,500 a month.
The scheme, which cost more than £ 35bn, was initially funded by the government, but companies began contributing to wages in September after the scheme began to be phased out.
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Last week, the Treasury Selection Committee said the government should consider a targeted extension of the scheme.
In the first week of September, manufacturers warned of a second wave of job cuts without extensions, and the CBI industrial group said a replacement was needed to avoid a “rock edge”.
On Monday, the TUC said Chancellor Rishi Sunak must act to prevent a “tsunami” of job losses.
On Tuesday, Labor leader Keir Starmer called for the scheme to be replaced.
Unification Secretary-General Len McCluskey said on Wednesday that a signal from the government for a targeted extension of the scheme would “put the floor under difficult employers who work hard to stabilize in the face of huge challenges”.
“With our competing countries announcing the extension or modification of their job retention schemes, we want your government to recognize the need for businesses and workers in the UK to receive such support,” Mr McCluskey wrote in a letter to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. .
A spokeswoman said Unite wanted support for sectors including manufacturing, aviation infrastructure and aerospace and hospitality.
But in August, the government’s plan to end the scheme was backed by Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey, who said it was important for politicians to help workers “move forward” and keep them out of unproductive jobs.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said extending the scheme would only keep people “in suspended animation”.
The government has repeatedly rejected calls to expand the scheme, saying it has met its goal of softening the economy during the coronavirus crisis.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said his priority was to find new ways to protect jobs.
A Finance Ministry spokesman said: “The grant scheme has done what it is designed to do – save jobs and help people get started.”
The spokesman said the government had made “unprecedented interventions”, including giving companies £ 1,000 for every worker still hired in January, business rate breaks, VAT cuts and the Kickstart scheme, which gives young people people experience at work.
“We have not hesitated to act in a creative and effective way to support jobs and will continue to do so as we recover from this crisis,” the spokesman added.
It strikes the coronavirus
The coronavirus retention scheme was hailed by the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) in July as “an undeniable success in retaining workers who are forced to work,” with 9.5 million people in the scheme. time.
But employers planned more than 300,000 layoffs in June and July as the effects of the coronavirus continued to hit the economy.
Firms continue to recruit staff as they prepare for the end of the scheme.
About 695,000 British workers have gone off the payroll of British companies since March.