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Furlough - The personal impact

The UK government created the job retention, or ‘furlough’ scheme, to help prevent companies needing to make colleagues redundant in these times of uncertainty, and ultimately limit the damage to the economy.

Let’s just take a moment to assess the potential impact on people who have been placed on furlough status.

First day submissions to the HMRC portal show that more than 1,300,000 employees have been furloughed across over 185,000 different companies. With an estimated cost of £1.5 billion to the UK government the economic impact is clearly large, but what has the impact been on those individuals who have been placed on furlough?

Questioning level self-worth

Many people place a high level of value on their job in order to measure and support their view of self-worth, therefore being placed on furlough may well have a huge impact on people’s self-esteem.

It is important to remember that companies have made these difficult decisions based on the reality of workloads and business needs in this time. Therefore, that being placed on furlough is not reflection on an individual but rather simply the reduction in work needing to be completed.

Remember, while you cannot work for your employer whilst on furlough, you can however undertake voluntary work or even take up another job at a different company during this time. Either of these may be a great way to boost that self-esteem and offer something to focus on.

My contribution isn’t valued

Some people may be viewing being placed on furlough as a reflection on their work, or their level contribution to the company. This simply is not the case. As previously mentioned, the difficult the decision to place colleagues on furlough is one that has been made across the nation by over 185,000 companies, and through absolute necessity.

The lower demand for the services or products companies offer has meant there isn’t the same demand for work there previously was. However, this does not mean that the valuable contribution of individuals will not be needed once again, or indeed more than ever, as we work to recover from this pandemic.

Take this time to recharge and perhaps focus on the odd jobs you have been meaning to tackle around the house, or that hobby you put on the shelf earlier in the year. This way, you will help to ensure you are fit and ready to support your company when things start to become ‘normal’ again.

Am I just going to be made redundant after all this is over?

The whole point of the furlough scheme is to help protect as many jobs as possible. Of course, many things are likely to change as a result of the current situation, however, the truth is, no one really knows what it will really look like.

One thing that is for certain is companies have made the difficult decision to furlough colleagues in the hope that they will be able to protect their jobs in the future. I know it sounds cliché, but there really is no use in worrying about something that might not happen.

Remember, your colleagues are still friends (weather on furlough or not) and there is nothing stopping you from keeping in contact and checking in on one another. Perhaps all someone needs is a good chat with someone they haven’t spoken to recently. Why not reach out by dropping them a friendly text message?

This pandemic has changed the world in many ways. It is also shaping the world of work in a way we have never seen before, so let’s all stick together and try to remain positive, taking it a step at a time and supporting each other along the way.

If you have any questions relating to the furlough scheme, or what it could mean for your business or colleagues, then please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’re here to support you with Todays Tomorrow.


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