To help combat the coronavirus’s rising impact, England has been placed in a national lockdown for the third time. From midnight on the 4th January 2021, many businesses were forced to shut, and thousands of workers were told to work from home. To minimise the impact this will have on the UK, the government announced several support packages to help people cope with upcoming financial pressures. However, while the packages have been received well, the FCSA has responded by asking Chancellor Rishi Sunak for more help specifically for the contingent workforce.
More support is needed for the UK’s contingent workforce
Due to the rising number of coronavirus cases and related deaths in the UK, the government was forced to put England in another lockdown. As a result, Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled some support packages that have been designed to limit the impact on businesses and workers. However, while Phil Pluck, Chief Executive at the Freelance and Contractor Services Association (FCAS) supports these measures, he is concerned that there is not enough to help contingent workers.
In an article recently published on the FCSA’s blog, Phil Pluck says:
“I really do understand the immense challenges that the government is having to deal with during this pandemic, but the announcement this week by the Chancellor was disappointing, to say the least, for our sector.
While I support the hard-hit retail and leisure sectors’ targeted financial assistance entirely, I do question whether this will be enough to ensure this crucial industry’s survival. But what about all of the other sectors in our economy?
If you look closely at the details of what the Chancellor has announced, there is nothing new in reality. Small businesses and the self-employed have once again been forgotten, and the furlough scheme as it stands is now unaffordable for many companies and will continue to be so.”
The FCSA’s letter to Chancellor Rishi Sunak
In the FCSA’s letter addressed to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Phil Pluck explains that he has requested “swift and serious consideration on implementing a temporary furlough scheme that will make it more financially viable for our member firms to offer the furlough scheme to their contingent workforce.”
He also explains:
“We very much hope that the Chancellor recognises the vital role that the contingent workforce sector has in the UK economy, contributing £37.8 billion, and takes swift and decisive action on the temporary furlough scheme we have proposed to protect a workforce and those businesses that support them at this critical time.”