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Membership Group TUC Joins Charity Coalition Calling For Furlough To Be Extended

Sun Jul 12 2020

The TUC last week added their voice to the growing number of organisations calling for an extension to the furlough scheme for shielded and high-risk workers

Membership Group TUC (Trades Union Congress) has joined a coalition of not-for-profit organisations that included the likes of Age UK and National Voices, calling on the UK Government to extend the coronavirus furlough scheme for any and all workers who are shielding or considered a high risk worker.


Current Government advice is that anyone currently shielding can safely return to work as of Aug 1st however many workers fear to do so with worries about a second wave of COVID-19 hitting.

Anyone disobeying their employer and continuing to shield after that date run the risk of losing their job. 

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Extend the furlough scheme for people with wider caring responsibilities and workers affected by ‘local lockdowns

TUC Spokesperson

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According to Government statistics around 627,000 workers were asked to stay at home during lockdown as they needed to shield either themselves or loved ones. A further 31% of those (nearly 200,000 people in total) had to be furloughed as their jobs couldn’t be done on remote basis.


A report published by the TUC last week revealed that tens of thousands of their members, especially those that were older, disabled or living with someone with ill health might not be able to safely return to work as there was still a high risk of catching the coronavirus amongst these groups.

The report also pointed out that it’s highly likely localised outbreaks could lead to shielding being brought back in the future anyway.


In addition to the extension to the furlough scheme, the TUC is also calling on the Government to…


  • Make Access To Support Easier For High Risk Workers:  Anyone with a heightened risk of catching COVID-19 should be able to easily access and then rely on a letter from their GP to qualify for furlough.
  • Ensure Appropriate Support For Anyone Still Working From Home: The TUC have called on the Government to offer a one time payment to enable people to adapt a space in their homes to make it suitable to effectively do their jobs.
  • Guaranteed Flexible Working: Flexible working should be available for staff from the very first day on the job and anyone who qualified for flexible working during lockdown emergency measures should be offered those benefits permanently.
  • Make Parental Leave Is Fit For Purpose: All workers should, no matter what their employment status, should receive up to ten days a year of paid parental leave.
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Many people who have been shielding from Covid-19 won’t be able to return to work yet because the virus continues to pose a threat to their lives – or the lives of those they live with. Tens of thousands of people risk being forced out of their jobs after August 01st if the job retention scheme is not extended and their workplaces cannot be made safe. Many others will be stopped from returning to work because of their caring responsibilities, like working mums without childcare. And people unable to work from home during ‘local lockdowns’ must not be forced to risk exposure to the virus to feed, clothe and house themselves and their family. Ministers can’t stand by and let these people lose their jobs and livelihoods. The priority now is stopping the misery of unemployment – and making sure people who can’t work through no fault of their own do not lose everything they’ve worked so hard for.

Frances O’Grady - TUC General Secretary 

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Not Quite ready To Get Back To Work Just Yet?




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Sun Jul 12 2020

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