Furlough Fatigue

Chances are, this time around during the second lockdown you may have asked some staff to remain at work to facilitate click and collect or delivery sales. This is perhaps different than the situation in March when it is more likely that all staff would have been furloughed.

We have found that many of our clients this time around are experiencing what we have coined ”Furlough Fatigue” Employees that have not been selected for furlough are unhappy they cannot have the time off work. Realistically, if you can stay at home and not work but receive 80% of your usual pay then that is quite appealing to many.

However, this has been very surprising to us. If you are not on furlough it is probably more likely your job is secure for the future so we question why people would want to be chosen for furlough! With so many redundancies being made, we would have thought job security would be peoples top priority.

However, when we actually think of the reasons why people would want to be selected for furlough, there could be many.

Perhaps, it comes down to peoples characters, some need to work for their own mental health and wellbeing. Other people do not require that input and motivation from being at work.

Other considerations could be financial, if an employee is fairly well off they may not need 100% of their pay and therefore see furlough as a bit of a treat! Others, perhaps with young families, require all the money they can get so would not want to be furloughed.

Of course there are medical considerations too, some people would like to be furloughed if they or a family member have an underlying health condition purely to keep them safe.

It has certainly been interesting to Lawgistics over the past few months how many issues we have dealt with where employees do not want to return from furlough. This alongside employees being very unhappy they have not been chosen for furlough has definitely surprised us. It seems logical that people want a job and want to work, especially at a time like this with large amounts of redundancies but the thought process behind furlough, for some employees, is clearly a lot more complicated than that.


Authors: Stephanie Ball

Published: 22 Nov 2020


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