Government urged to introduce short-time working scheme

Calls have been made for the the Government to introduce a temporary short-time working scheme to help businesses stem job losses.

The TUC, British Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses, The Work Foundation and manufacturers organisation EEF have written to Alistair Darling ahead of the Budget to outline a plan whereby the government would partially compensate workers for lost earnings where there was an agreed reduction in working hours and pay. This, it is argued, would keep workers in employment and help businesses survive in the current clime.

Brendan Barber, TUC general secretary said: “UK employment is already over two million and is spiralling fast. Introducing a temporary short-time working scheme would help businesses stem the flow of job losses. Such agreements provide a quick and effective way to cut costs for struggling businesses and give hard pressed employees vital financial help.

“Short time working schemes are working well across Europe and are preventing many thousands of unnecessary job losses. The Government must ensure that UK businesses and workers have access to such channels of support.”