The commendable UK Government furlough scheme has been a life saver for individuals and for companies, but has created an enormous growing debt that the UK will be repaying for generations.
Being paid 80% of ‘capped’ salary for 0% work is not economically sustainable long term and is emotive in many complex ways. This is the key challenge I have identified.
Those on furlough are not ‘earning’ the 80% of pay they receive, and some may not feel incentivised to return from 0% to 100% work for effectively 20% increase in income. Whilst those who remain in work, possibly stretched to cover their absent furloughed colleagues, may feel resentful of
furloughed colleagues on 80% paid leave. Both parties are left feeling guilty, stressed and vulnerable. Many, or most, will be anxious to return to paid employment so they feel they are ‘earning’ their income and hopeful to secure their permanent employment. Furloughed individuals can feel at a loose end, and may wish to do volunteer work to remain active, useful and satisfied.
Can furloughed individuals be requested to complete government learning tasks to earn furlough payments? i.e. So the government may benefit directly in return from those who receive furlough payments, whilst the people stand to learn and develop individually.
Whilst so many are dependent on this interim, exceptional support, the government would appear to hold a moral leverage. What if furlough income was conditional on certain duties being fulfilled whilst not permitted to work for an employer? In the same way that the nation’s youngsters are having to be homeschooled, what if a basic citizenship competency needs to be demonstrated each month to receive furlough payments? I’ve explained more in 2b.