Fleur has written to the Treasury urging the Chancellor to improve the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) for workers.
Through the Retention Scheme, the Government offers to pay 80% of an employees wages if they can no longer work due to Coronavirus. However thousands are still being left behind.
Some employers are refusing to furlough their staff and the scheme does not cover those who started new jobs after February 28th.
There is also confusion over whether how much employees working for umbrella companies can receive, leaving approximately 650,000 people nationwide in the lurch.
In her letter,Fleur has called for:
- The cut-off date of 28th February to be removed
- For a clearer duty to be imposed on employers as to whether or not they should furlough current and former staff
- For further clarification for individuals employed by umbrella companies
- Clarification on calculation of holiday for furloughed workers
Commenting on the CJRS, Fleur said:
“While I commend the Government for taking the bold step of furloughing staff, as has often been the case during this crisis there are major flaws in the scheme and thousands are falling though the cracks. I have had a huge amount of constituents write to me who through no fault of their own are not covered by the scheme, or have been left in a state of utter confusion as to what they are entitled to. These people are facing financial ruin and they urgently need help”
Meanwhile, following pressure from a number of MPs including Fleur, on Friday the Chancellor announced a series of measures designed to strengthen the support available to businesses.
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme has been extended so more small businesses can benefit, and lenders have been banned from requesting personal guarantees on loans under £250,000.
Commenting on the changes, Fleur said:
“While more still needs to be done, I am really pleased that the Government is listening to my colleagues and I. This is a welcome start, but I now want to see the eligibility criteria for Government grants extended and the package of support for self-employed individuals radically improved.”
In addition to lobbying the Government on businesses and the self-employed, Fleur has been campaigning for charities and voluntary organisations to receive greater support, for greater protection for employees being told they have to come into work and has been in regular contact with UK embassies across the world trying to get Putney residents home who are stranded abroad.
Fleur has also set up a Putney Coronavirus Mutual Support Group and there are over 1200 members helping each other now, with more joining every day. If you are interested, please go to https://www.facebook.com/groups/PutneyCoronavirus
Fleur is also running 5km on Saturday April 18th to raise money for NHS staff. You can donate to Fleur here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fleur-for-st-georges
If you are self-employed or run a small business and are unsure what support to available to you, the Wandsworth Chamber of Commerce are also holding weekly online forums for local businesses to share their concerns, see here for the latest schedule: https://www.wandsworthchamber.org/calendar-of-events.html. They are also conducting a survey for businesses which can be found on their home page: https://www.wandsworthchamber.org/