Furloughed part-timers ‘clinging on to disappearing jobs’

A waiter

Amanda Bellwood, a part-time employee, has been on furlough because the UK’s first coronavirus lockdown and fears she is going to by no means return to the corporate the place she has labored for 20 years.

The 57-year-old, who is just not utilizing her actual title, says she is “certain” she’ll be made redundant in July, when the federal government will reduce the proportion of people’s wages it pays to 70% and employers will have to pay 10% for hours not worked.

“I feel cast aside. No one has touched base with me or said even said ‘hi’ in over a year,” says the grandmother-of-three, who works for a pen manufacturing and gross sales firm.

“It seems to me that lots of businesses are getting rid of their part-timers, scaling down on more experienced personnel and keeping on to junior staff, to save costs.”

‘Bearing the brunt’

According to versatile working campaigners Timewise, Mrs Bellwood is just not alone in fearing redundancy. The consultancy is warning that the UK’s 7.Eight million part-time employees, most of whom are ladies, will bear the brunt of job losses when the furlough scheme ends in September.

A research commissioned by Timewise discovered that half of all part-time employees had been furloughed at one level in the course of the pandemic, in contrast to a 3rd of full-time staff.

Meanwhile, part-time employment has fallen at its quickest fee in at the very least 30 years in the course of the disaster, with the share of girls working part-time at its lowest since information started.

Woman in mask walks past shop sign saying 'This store is closed'

Research suggests part-time employees have been hit hardest by the pandemic

‘Clinging on to disappearing jobs’

Emma Stewart, Timewise’s director of growth, says staff really feel like they’re “clinging on to jobs that will soon disappear”.

She says part-time employees might “effectively be locked out of work” after evaluation of job adverts revealed simply 8% of UK job vacancies are marketed as part-time.

Mrs Bellwood, from Hitchin, Hertfordshire, says working part-time is “crucial” to her supporting her youngsters by taking care of and spending time along with her grandchildren.

She says she has discovered looking for part-time roles “demoralising” and “all very impersonal” after sending off lots of of functions with no reply.

“My husband was made redundant last October, he worked for a removal business for 35 years,” she says.

“Suddenly, we face an uncertain future and it’s frightening. I know so many people like me. Over 50, who have lost their part-time jobs.”

Timewise says that in 2020, 44% of part-time employees who had been categorised as being “away from work” – or on furlough – in the course of the first lockdown continued to be away between July and September.

That compares to a few third of full-time employees.

Tony Wilson, director of Institute for Employment Studies, says part-time employees have been “hit harder” by successive lockdowns and are taking on full-time jobs to “make up for lost earnings” – each elements driving the autumn in part-time roles.

“Either way, the signs are that far from heralding a new era of flexible working, this recovery may see far fewer people getting the hours and the flexibility that they need,” he says.

Office for National Statistics figures present 7.Eight million folks had been employed part-time between January and March this yr in contrast to 8.7 million in the identical interval final yr.

The variety of ladies employed part-time fell from 6.four million to 5.7 million.

‘Flexibility very important for childcare’

Kelly Burns, who doesn’t need to use her actual title, says it shocked her that it was so arduous to discover a part-time job after she was made redundant final July.

The 42-year-old from Hampshire says it’s “vital” she will work versatile hours throughout college time so she will take care of her two youngsters as a single mom.

A woman and her child

A lady and her youngster

She had a job at as a private assistant for a property firm, however is on the lookout for different work after being instructed she wanted to be within the workplace day-after-day.

“My current view of the jobs market is bleak, I am seeing very few part-time and flexible jobs,” she says.

“Some job ads say they are flex but I don’t feel convinced after what has just happened to me.”

Mr Wilson says a brand new Employment Bill is required to enhance safety for part-time employees and to “strengthen people’s rights to work flexibly”.

A Department for Business spokeswoman stated the federal government was “wholeheartedly committed to protecting and enhancing workers’ rights”.

It stated it had arrange the Flexible Working Taskforce to “properly understand the changes in ways of working that are emerging as a result of the pandemic”.

“We are also taking forward plans to consult on making flexible work the default, unless employers have good reasons not to,” she added.

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Banner saying ‘Get in contact’

Are you a part-time employee? Have you misplaced your job within the pandemic, or are you frightened you’ll lose your job when furlough ends? Email haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk.

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