Some in government circles are calling for the Chancellor to continue with some form of financial help after the furlough scheme comes to an end in September. This is a situation that is very delicate but one that must be tackled.
The government cannot continue to use our money to fund people to work from home, and yes it is our money that was taken from us in taxation. There is real weight in the argument for employees to return to the workplace.
The argument that teams are more productive when face to face interaction takes place is an important factor in productivity.
There are also mental health benefits from returning to the workplace as people will become less isolated.
We must remember that public sector workers were not to receive furlough payments and were / are working from home on full pay. *
This is unsustainable and must be addressed by the government.
This was and still is happening whilst the private sector had to survive on 80% of salary.
*Source: CIPD online report.
Retail companies pioneered safe working practices throughout the crisis and therefore those employees in the retail sector had to return to the workplace much more quickly. Whitehall and all other departments and local governments need to take on board the learnings from these retailers to expedite the return of their employees to the workplace environment.
It is not a case of being mean to those employees but being realistic.
Yes, there has to be a safety net for those who are on the poverty line and find themselves unemployed. Hayek stated this whilst in conversation with Leo Rosten back in 1978.
There are opportunities for those who have lost their employment through redundancy to learn new skills as the market is recovering and if the market is left alone from all of the government tinkering will in turn create new opportunities for those very same people.
Some interesting data that shows us that the labour market is recovering:
In the latest period (March to May 2021), there was an increase in the employment rate of 0.1 percentage points, to 74.8%, and a decrease in the unemployment rate of 0.2 percentage points, to 4.8%.
In a Reuters news article it was highlighted that firms are very much starting to recruit again:
"Global recruiter PageGroup Plc (PAGE.L) said on Monday it would spend 100 million pounds ($138.81 million) on shareholder returns as trading conditions improved in the first half, even as a number of its markets reinforced curbs due to the new coronavirus variant.
PageGroup, which reported a 17% jump in revenue to 766.4 million pounds for the six months ended June 30, said in a statement it was not clear whether the improved performance was the result of pent-up demand or a sustainable trend.
The UK-based firm reported half-year operating profit of 64.3 million pounds, compared to 400,000 pounds in the pandemic-battered 2020 period, and 75.6 million pounds in the comparable period in 2019."
A free market economy is the strategy of the Libertarian Party that we believe will bring greater economic freedom to each and every individual.
Glenville Gogerly EADW - Libertarian Party Chairman & Business and Trade Spokesperson.