The newly launched #RaiseTheBar campaign has warned that the furloughing scheme is “concealing the true picture of unemployment in the UK”, providing financial support to employees whilst their employers are facing closure.
The campaign believes adjustments to the furloughing scheme have created an “unlevel playing field” of support, meaning businesses are missing out on “vital funds” to stay afloat whilst their employees are able to remain financially supported on furlough.
Matthew Sims, CEO, Croydon BID and co-founder of #RaiseTheBar campaign said the situation is likely to reach tipping point this month, with the next quarterly rent due on Wednesday 24 June set to force businesses to close with overheads and the cost of re-opening depleting cash reserves.
Sims said: “The Government is in danger of pushing businesses to the brink of the abyss and in turn leaving businesses with no choice but to make serious decisions regarding their future operation, leading to redundancies and even closure.
“If this happens, the positive work of the Job Retention Scheme would have been short-lived, leaving the country, long term in a far worse position and having spent millions on financial aid supporting the employee, but ignoring the employer.”
Night Czar, Amy Lamé added: “Whilst we welcome the Government extension of the job retention scheme, this crisis will require long-term economic intervention from the Government. Bars, pubs and clubs remain in lockdown without the levels of cashflow they need to pay wages, National Insurance and pension contributions with their future looking bleak to impossible.
“Without more help from the Government, they will be forced into widespread redundancies, which would have a further negative impact on our economy, culture and society.”