It is safe to say Furlough has been on every person’s mind since the beginning of lockdown nearly 12 weeks ago. If you were told last year you would be paid to take 3 months+ off you would be singing in the street! However, this year with everything else going on, a deadly virus right outside our doors, furlough is not really what you thought it would be.

Chair of Money Saving Expert Martin Lewis has answered the public’s burning questions about their rights during furlough. In response he stated, “You’re not going to like the answer. I wish I could give you a better one”

As there have been rumours of redundancies throughout the UK in several sectors, widespread panic is starting to rise, it seems lockdown is the calm before the storm. Martin Lewis has explained that there is a 45 day consultation period approaching, bringing extra costs upon employers and putting them into a difficult position.

As the furlough scheme has been extended to October, Martin has urged the furloughed employees to keep in contact with employers and work with them in order to retain their jobs. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hoped that “Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back to part time.”

It is such a worrying time for everyone, especially those on furlough who do not know where they stand. We can only urge employers to keep employees updated and reassured, or they may start to search for other work.

Many workers in the Lytham area are on the furlough scheme, with our brilliant restaurant and bar culture, many local businesses are suffering the devastating loss of summer profits. If these businesses are forced to make redundancies, will Lytham’s atmosphere ever be the same, will we ever see the familiar friendly faces in our local bars and shops?