Furloughed staff to support essential work

If furlough is to be extended, it should be a condition of receipt of payments that people sign up to carry out either some volunteering activity or essential work such as gathering the food harvests.

Why the contribution is important

Many furloughed staff will have signed up for volunteering opportunities so they can "do their bit" during the current crisis. However, some are seen as treating this period as a paid holiday. This is seen as unfair by key workers who have had to continue working, and risking contracting the virus, during the period when others are staying at home. All furloughed staff making a contribution would be seen as fairer and more of a sign of everyone being in this together.

by jlml58 on May 07, 2020 at 05:43PM

Current Rating

Average rating: 4.7
Based on: 14 votes


  • Posted by lmg1612 May 07, 2020 at 20:31

    A paid holiday?? What about the long term unemployed who won't work. Why not get them working/volunteering in order to get their benefits??
  • Posted by Chardie May 07, 2020 at 21:32

    People were furloughed so that businesses could close in a bid to have more people staying at home. If all the furloughed staff started working again there would really be no point in them being furloughed. There would be more traffic on the roads, more need for child care/school places etc. I am still working and don't look at anyone else as having a paid holiday, we all have different roles to play in the lockdown and for some it is just to stay home and save lives.
  • Posted by DaveB53 May 07, 2020 at 23:01

    People were furloughed so that employers did not need to make them immediately redundant. There is no reason that people furloughed should not be required to undertake a certain amount of essential work in exchange for generous taxpayer funded payments. The only exceptions should be those who are a greater risk from Covid-19.
  • Posted by Flugelduck May 08, 2020 at 07:03

    Great idea for those who can help but impossible for those with children and no childcare
  • Posted by petermuir79 May 08, 2020 at 08:15

    Maybe look at people receiving Job Seekers Allowance or Universal Credit too, should it be conditional that those people also have to volunteer or pick fruit in fields before they receive support?
    Of course not.

    The furlough scheme firstly is there to allow businesses to rebound vertically as quickly as possible. If all their staff are off volunteering or picking fruit then that quick restart will be a slow stagger instead.

    Secondly, the scheme encourages people to remain at home rather than travelling and spreading the virus.
  • Posted by Maxwell2703 May 08, 2020 at 15:58

    Furloughed staff could certainly help with seasonal jobs such as fruit picking, even with the assistance of Europeans coming to work, there are not enough to pick and process the fruit. Food should absolutely not go to waste due to not having people to pick it. We are blessed with long daylight hours so shift work would help social distancing and assist in childcare issues where there are 2 parents.
  • Posted by CarrieFortune May 09, 2020 at 11:43

    Totally agree if Government is paying salary then should be helping in fields or with deliveries or in care if you can
  • Posted by TracyMurdoch May 10, 2020 at 15:24

    Furloughed staff of charities and third sector organisations should be able to volunteer their time for their organisation especially where services have been adapted in response to Covid-19.
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