shutterstock_1699249528 (1)

The furlough scheme must allow for part-time working and flexibility this month if UK logistics is to stave off a tidal wave of redundancies, according to the FTA.

The chancellor has confirmed that from August staff can be furloughed on a part-time basis in order to aid a gradual recovery when the economy is in the doldrums.

But the FTA said with many haulage and transport firms having endured limited work for the past three months, most will face a significant break in their cash flow during June and July and so flexibility is required now.

David Wells, FTA CEO, said businesses need the option of part-time working from the end of May in order to ensure the economy returns to normal trading as swiftly as possible.

Read more

Wells said: “Currently, employers must fully furlough workers for three weeks before any payments can be made, and any break in this pattern returns workers to a three-week cycle.

“This prevents operators from using furloughed employees on a part-time basis, and is hampering the full return to work, by limiting the number of workers available for businesses to use.

“We believe the three-week cycle should be reduced to a single week, to give additional flexibility to accommodate peaks and troughs in business as the economy recovers.”

Wells added that it remained unclear whether or not companies will need to pay for the non-working time of furloughed workers and if a top-up payment will be required if the percentage of wages paid by the government is reduced: “Furloughing was intended to avoid a tidal wave of redundancies, but if logistics businesses must pay an increasing proportion of furloughing costs, the economy could be faced with exactly that scenario,” he said.