The furlough scheme has been a lifeline for both employees and employers during the pandemic and as The Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak stated, ‘Extending furlough and increasing our support for the self-employed will protect millions of jobs’. It has done exactly that, albeit at huge impact to national debt but essential to all who needed it. Working with a wide range of clients, Spotlight Recruitment has seen the direct impact of Covid in all sectors and huge increases in hiring in recent months. But what will happen now the furlough end date 2021 is in sight?
When does furlough end?
The Government originally planned to bring the furlough scheme to an end in late October 2020 but this has been extended to 30th September 2021. At this stage, the government will pay 60% of wages up to a maximum cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough. Flexible furlough rules have given employers the opportunity to furlough employees for any amount of time and any work pattern, meaning there is no minimum number of weeks or days that an employee must be on furlough, subject to the 7-calendar day minimum claim period. Employers have needed to keep updated on flexible furlough employee rights with constant changes to the scheme.
As the rates of employer contribution have increased, so have redundancies particularly for hard-hit sectors such as retail, restaurants and live events. It has been estimated that over a million businesses and around 9.3 million employees have seen the benefits from the scheme.
What does the end of furlough mean for recruitment?
Redundancies have been taking place since the start of Covid but we have seen a frenzy of marketing and digital recruitment now taking place in many sectors. This is coinciding with a challenging candidate market as those in jobs are cautious to leave, causing challenges attracting the right people. It will be a delicate balance for employers trying to bring employees back to work safely as well as balance the commercial needs of the business to generate revenue.
Within marketing recruitment, we are currently experienced unprecedented demand for hiring but many candidates are still not comfortable returning to the office. The majority of roles we work on are hybrid and remote still due to Covid, but some full-time office-based roles are returning. Our recent poll on LinkedIn showed that only 7% of 587 voters are prepared to return to the office full-time and requirements to do so is also affecting companies’ recruitment. Very few candidates are prepared to be in the office full-time now and the most efficient talent attraction policies take this into account with flexible and remote working being offered.
We are experiencing an unprecedented demand for Marketers with digital skills and candidates certainly have their pick between some attractive roles, so firms need to have their A-game ready if they want to attract the best people! If you need advice on a job spec, the interview process or to talk about future hiring plans do reach out to us so you can get the most efficient process in place.
No one knows exactly what the end of furlough will look like but thinking ahead as a business is critical to ensure that you can begin contingency planning. The end of furlough will affect most businesses and leaves candidates concerned about the future and any risk to jobs. If you are considering new marketing, digital and communications roles do get in touch find out more about the clients we work with and how Spotlight Recruitment can help.
NICOLA MONGON is the MD of Spotlight Recruitment, specialists in marketing, digital, and communications recruitment since 2008. Read our 5* Google reviews from candidates and clients to find out more. If you would like to discuss hiring plans or find out more about us, you can reach Spotlight at 020 3008 4254 or email@example.com