Earlier this year, we talked about the furlough scheme coming to an end – and what this meant for the job market. As the year has evolved and we’ve reached the second coronavirus peak earlier than anticipated, the government has had to completely rethink their strategy. Originally due to end in November, as we fell into another lockdown at the same time, there was little choice for Rishi Sunak but to extend the scheme, especially as retailers and restaurants were forced to shut again.
However, for some it was too little too late. With the scheme about to end, many companies had already restructured or had their employees face redundancies. Whilst there is the opportunity to rehire and furlough employees made redundant after September 23rd, this has still left other companies and individuals stuck in a difficult position.
As the current furlough structure allows people to work part time, others may have been out of work (yet still employed) for months. When furlough started, people who were off were considered as ‘on holiday’ when in fact it was a stressful, unpredictable time for them. As the uncertainty continues, it leaves people in a dilemma of whether to wait for the scheme to end and return to their work, or instead to seek out new employment.
Fortunately, unlike the first lockdown, there is movement in the fashion job market, as I’ve seen new, interesting Manchester fashion jobs pop up. The current furlough scheme keeps employees working in front of house and high street roles protected, but in head office positions companies have had more of an insight into how the retail sphere is set to look.
At this moment in time, the scheme is set to end in March 2021. In a time where everything has been unpredictable, no-one knows whether this in guaranteed, but it’s currently looking like that will be the case. As multiple covid vaccines are starting to be announced, it’s only a matter of time before things have to return to some sort of normal, and as we have to adapt to these changing times, we don’t know exactly what that will mean. However, it does seem we have got through the worst of things when it comes to the recession and changing job market. The next challenge? Brexit.