Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/1108/31587
The Socialist 4 November 2020 |
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Furloughed worker speaks out: Let down by insecure contracts
photo Creative Commons Zero - CC0 (Click to enlarge)
I was working when lockdown was announced. We turned up the volume on the telly, put the subtitles on and everyone went quiet.
After the announcement one lad went on a break, had a good cry and came back with his Halloween make-up running everywhere. It is just the stress of it all - it has broken people down and they feel like they can't do this anymore.
I missed out on furlough by two days last time. I had a cleaning job in a beauty spa, but because I was two days from my first pay cheque, I missed out.
Revenue and Customs refused to accept my employment contract as evidence. This time I am a few weeks into a four-week contract. I could be furloughed for a week and then laid off.
Fortunately, my manager told me that she will extend my contract so I can be on furlough. But people shouldn't have to rely on that.
Many individual managers are trying to do the right thing. They have the weight of twenty-odd people, the weight of their staff's livelihoods and their own on top of them.
Some of my colleagues have been considering setting up a temporary ride-share, informal taxi service. They can't afford a 20% pay cut. No one should be in that position, forced to put themselves at risk, just to make ends meet.
Mental health is my main concern. If I spend another month inside and not working I'm concerned how I will be able to stay positive.
James, bar worker