Martin Lewis grills Rishi Sunak on workers ‘left out’ of furlough scheme with bosses ‘not playing ball’


MARTIN Lewis has grilled Rishi Sunak about the furlough scheme and workers who’ve been “left out in the lurch” from help.

The MoneySavingExpert founder quizzed the Chancellor in an exclusive interview on the Martin Lewis Money Show on ITV.

Martin Lewis interviewing Rishi Sunak for his Martin Lewis Money Show

As part of yesterday’s Budget, the Chancellor confirmed he was extending the furlough scheme until the end of September.

The Government will continue to pay furloughed workers’ wages up to a maximum of £2,500 a month until the end of June.

Employers will then be required to meet 10% of those wages in July and 20% in August and September as the scheme winds down.

The Budget announcement means millions will have been paid to stay at home for 17 months by the end of the furlough scheme.

Rishi Sunak being interviewed by Martin Lewis

Furlough – officially known as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme – has protected more than 11million jobs since its creation last March.

But speaking to the Chancellor today, Martin told Mr Sunak that some bosses aren’t “playing ball” and won’t furlough staff correctly.

It is ultimately up to your boss to decide to furlough you – but they don’t have to do this.

However, if you have concerns about your work or have childcare responsibilities, it could still be worth having the conversation with your employer.

You can’t apply for the support yourself, as your boss has to apply for the support through the website.

Graph showing how many people have been furloughed since March 2020

Speaking to the Chancellor, Martin said: “In many ways, you’ve subcontracted the welfare state to companies in the form of furlough and there are many people out there whose companies are doing great jobs but others where they’re not playing ball and people don’t feel like they’re being treated fairly.

“What would you have to say to companies and the individual when someone’s been left out in the lurch because the firm won’t furlough them correctly?”

In response to this, the Chancellor said he would urge companies to “try and act compassionately to their employees through a difficult time”

But ultimately, he said the Government won’t intervene in making an employer furlough you.

Mr Sunak said: “We’ve made the scheme pretty much as generous as we can and if you look at similar schemes internationally, ours I think really does stand as generous to the employer, generous to the employee, generous in how it works but ultimately that has to be a decision for the company.

“It wouldn’t be right for the Government or indeed the employee to decide whether they’re being furloughed and getting paid by the government.

“I think everyone appreciates that would throw up some unintended consequences.”

We round up seven Budget 2021 issues Martin grilled Rishi on.

During their chat, the money-saving guru urged Rishi to bring forward the fourth SEISS grant.

He also called on the Chancellor to extend £20 a week Universal Credit boost to millions on old benefit system.


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