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Pilots union welcomes improvements to Job Retention Scheme for employees but says they don’t go far enough

The British Airline Pilots Association (BALPA) has issued a cautious welcome to the Government’s clarification on support for employees who are ‘furloughed’ with no work, but says there should also be support for people forced onto reduced hours and pay. This would mirror the protections for the self-employed.

Initially, the outline of the support being made available appeared to only be for people who had lost all work and pay. The Government has now provided clarification that workers who lose some – but not all – of their earnings will also be eligible. This is good news.

However, it leaves the anomalous situation that employees have to be laid off work completely whereas many employers can usefully keep people working on reduced hours and this is vital to keep the economy moving.

BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said:

“It’s pretty daft that employers have to lay off their staff with no work to qualify for Government assistance when many would rather have at least some of their staff working on reduced hours. This would be better for them and for the economy but the Government scheme incentivises employers to lay off staff. The scheme for the self-employed allows people to work and earn so the same should apply to employees.”