Is furloughing workers the best way to save jobs in the coronavirus crisis?

Apr 03, 08:35 PM
Every year Collins Dictionary chooses its word of the year and just three months into 2020, it feels like coronavirus might be a shoe-in for the title.

But among the other words likely to be picked as high-fliers, it seems that furlough will also be in with a shout.

Until a few weeks ago, it's unlikely many people had ever considered what being furloughed would mean, but now it's the topic on many workers’ minds.

The concept of asking workers to go on furlough lies at the heart of the government’s coronavirus jobs rescue scheme – as it seeks to stall firms making people redundant and offers to pay 80% of their wages up to £2,500 a month.

But is picking up the wage bills of big businesses a wise move, will it help save jobs and is the price worth paying because the cost of not doing it is worse?

On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss what it means to be furloughed and whether the emergency plan can work.

They also look at the travel industry chaos and how airlines attempts to dig themselves out of a hole by dodging cash refunds is backfiring.

Why aren’t people getting money back for cancelled flights – and is there a way forward that could help airlines and customers?

Also on the agenda are the household bills rising at just the wrong time – and finally, at the opposite end of the scale, how did Agent Million deliver this month’s Premium Bond jackpot news to the lucky winners while still managing social distancing?