30 Apr

Furlough scheme must be extended to save jobs

This week ABTA has stepped-up its asks of the Government to help the industry by raising the issue of extending the salary support scheme, as well as urging Ministers to adopt a more flexible approach within the current regime. 

With domestic travel likely to be opened-up first and restrictions on international travel expected to be lifted in a more piecemeal fashion, we know that the travel and tourism industry will face a tougher challenge than many other sectors in the economy to recover swiftly from this crisis and it’s vital government recognises the need for targeted support. 

As it stands, the furlough scheme is only set to run until the end of June, which represents a cliff edge for businesses that have furloughed people. The scheme has provided a valuable mechanism to avoid significant job losses to date. However, it will have little long-term benefit if support is withdrawn suddenly with no measures put in place to aid the industry while it is still managing its way out of a cash crisis.   

As well as extending the length of time support is offered, we have urged the Government to relax the furlough rules which prevent employees from carrying out non-revenue raising duties to help manage queries from customers and chase revenue from suppliers to pay refunds. 

Now may be a good time, for Members with staff that have been furloughed, or for those that have questions about business resilience, to look at training opportunities for your teams. ABTA has been working with its Partners to provide additional resources for Members. These are now available in the Partner Services section of the Member Zone and include additional expert advice and guidance on topics such as business support and resilience as well as employment and HR. These resources are being updated on a regular basis and can be found here.

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive