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Are you ready for the end of furlough?

One month is left until the end of the furlough scheme - how are your clients going to fare?

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Today marks one month until the end of the furlough scheme, a government intitiative that was put in place in aid of preventing people being laid off by their employers during lockdown. The scheme has helped thousands manage to get by in the turmoil of the pandemic, but it has also caused confusion and headaches amidst the masses of compliance work heaped upon the profession.

As we settle back into normality, how do you think your clients will fare without furlough? Are you happy to see the back of it? Or are you concerned that some might not be able to cope?

Head of ACCA UK Claire Bennison commented that she was concerned a hard stop to the scheme could be damaging to businesses, calling instead for a gradual wind down process. Do you think that there is room for this approach, or are you happy to finally say farewell to furlough next month?

Feel free to share your furlough thoughts in the comments.

Replies (19)

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By Paul Crowley
01st Sep 2021 17:01

It should have been shut down months ago
The current furloughed workers really do not have a job anymore
They are getting unemployment benefits at a higher rate than other people who are unemployed.
We have seen threads on here that employers kept higher cost employees on flexi furlough but took on new cheaper staff.

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Replying to Paul Crowley:
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By AdamMurphy
01st Sep 2021 18:12

One of the businesses I am doing this for was treading water long before Covid, and yes it has been purely providing unemployment benefit for the employees since March 2020.
I can see the business closing, conveniently, in October.

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Replying to AdamMurphy:
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By Paul Crowley
01st Sep 2021 20:32

With the director and family being the protected jobs

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Replying to AdamMurphy:
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By Paul Crowley
01st Sep 2021 20:32

With the director and family being the protected jobs

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By AdamMurphy
01st Sep 2021 17:12

It's not a hard stop at all. Businesses have known for months that it was finishing and had plenty of time to prepare.
I'm convinced some of those I'm still doing are businesses choosing to work less rather than being affected by Covid.

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Replying to AdamMurphy:
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By Paul Crowley
01st Sep 2021 17:24

Similar view
If the job is so essential then business can afford to pay the not working employee

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By Hugo Fair
01st Sep 2021 17:40

What "hard stop"?
Subsidy of NICs and Pension contribs ceased eons ago, and the grant for employee wages then moved from a binary in/out to flexible furloughing, with the minimum contribution by employers increasing twice over the last 3 months.

There may be specific sectors that will require ongoing support - but that will be a purely political decision in terms of perceived value (culturally and socially as well as financially) to the country as a whole. CJRS is far too broad a brush to continue in use.

Frankly, after over 18 months, any competent person will have contemplated what changes are necessary to survive (as a person, a family, a business, etc) - with the only certainty being that we are never going to "settle back into normality."
That doesn't mean that answers are easy let alone certain, but everyone I know (apart from the politicians) is building greater flexibility/adaptability into their plans ... and continuing to subsidise jobs that are moribund has no precedence for working (look at the Steel industry as an example and govt interventions over the last 60 years).

"are you concerned that some might not be able to cope (without furlough)?" Yes, but as well as the above points, it is now consuming not just oodles of money but also resources in our profession (and within HMRC) that cannot be afforded if things like MTD are not to be stillborn.

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
01st Sep 2021 17:59

I am so glad its nearly over - the scheme not Covid which is still very much here.

I am baffled why its still available in August, let alone September given no businesses are now forced to close, its really all just optional now. If you haven't re-jigged your business by now for Covid, you don't deserve any sympathy.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
paddle steamer
By DJKL
01st Sep 2021 22:24

But close they are, sometimes with stunning levels of creditors which may well have a domino effect re their suppliers.

We have one former tenant pulling the plug in July , their assets (and they may not be recoverable) are sub £100k , their liabilities are £600k with only £100k of that due to former directors, the rest are third party creditors, the catch allowing zombies to live on is they have racked up more debt than they would have done in normal times, but eventually suppliers stop supplying and they fall with an even bigger bang. (This was a company that had been around, first as a partnership ,for over 20 years)

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By mbee1
02nd Sep 2021 08:42

ireallyshouldknowthisbut wrote:

I am so glad its nearly over - the scheme not Covid which is still very much here.

I am baffled why its still available in August, let alone September given no businesses are now forced to close, its really all just optional now. If you haven't re-jigged your business by now for Covid, you don't deserve any sympathy.


It's not just "businesses" that can claim furlough. I deal with many charity and voluntary sector payrolls (where some have paid employees) and this area is still finding it difficult when they rely on donations to pay staff they have. It could well be that when the scheme finishes at the end of this month they won't have any choice but to close. Not only will the paid staff lose their jobs but some very vulnerable people in the areas in which they work will also lose out.
The economy has no way got back to what it was before all this started and I think more targeted support is necessary. Looking at the infection numbers it wouldn't surprise me if some restrictions were not brought back in. Schools are about to start back and who knows what will happen then.
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By AdamMurphy
01st Sep 2021 18:10

As I'm too late to edit my post, another comment - this went on FAR too long being available for all sectors.
It should have been sector specific from much earlier.

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Replying to AdamMurphy:
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By Hazel Accounts
02nd Sep 2021 15:10

Totally agree - hardly any of my clients are still claiming anyway.

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Replying to Hazel Accounts:
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By Paul Crowley
05th Sep 2021 14:07

Similar
Down to a hard core

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By Matrix
01st Sep 2021 20:26

Luckily we have MTD to keep us busy. Well, reading all the posts is a part-time job.

So we won’t miss all those furlough posts.

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By Barbara G
01st Sep 2021 22:38

"Head of ACCA UK Claire Bennison commented that she was concerned a hard stop to the scheme could be damaging to businesses, calling instead for a gradual wind down process."

Wind down process? No way! Glad to see the back of it. Counting the weeks 'til payroll processors can look forward to getting a life back again.

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Replying to Barbara G:
Flag of the Soviet Union
By thevaliant
02nd Sep 2021 00:54

It's already being wound down anyway.

80% in June, 70% in July and now 60% for the last two months.
Did she really want to carry on losing another 10% a month for six more months?

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By creamdelacream
02nd Sep 2021 08:49

Claire Bennison sounds like she wants to see MMT. Enough with the CJRS, it's been going way too long and is just keeping zombie companies alive right now.

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A Putey FACA
By Arthur Putey
02nd Sep 2021 11:37

Cue flood of liquidations and defaults on bounceback and CBILS loans.

Maybe this will release more people into the market who can help offset the skills shortages everywhere else.

It would be interesting to know how many HGV drivers are still on furlough.

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Replying to Arthur Putey:
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By Paul Crowley
05th Sep 2021 14:10

"It would be interesting to know how many HGV drivers are still on furlough."

Only those that already have another job

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