Make sure furlough never pays less than minimum wage

To: Rishi Sunak, chancellor

The government has done the right thing by extending the furlough scheme – now we need to fix it so it works for the lowest paid.

More than two million people have been paid less than minimum wage while on the furlough scheme, because they only receive 80% of their original pay.

Could you survive on 80% of minimum wage?

While employers have the option to ‘top up’ wages, more than half of Britain’s lowest paid workers have not received this. This means the lowest paid have lost the most from the scheme.

The furlough scheme already has a ‘cap’ for the highest paid. There also needs to be a ‘floor’ for the lowest paid, to make sure that no one has to live on less than the minimum wage.

The minimum wage exists for a reason – it is the minimum anyone needs to live on. We must make sure furlough is never less than minimum wage.

Highlighted comments

I work in a non-essential shop and have lost so much money over the first lockdown, can’t afford to lose much more, and it’s the same for everyone else.

Julie, Swansea

The minimum wage is called that for a reason. Scraping it back even further to 80% is needlessly condemning millions to a winter of hardship.

Jordan, Sheffield

No one should have to live on the minimum wage – let alone less!

Linda, South London

Why should people on minimum wage pay the price of Covid when the MPs have received a £10,000 bonus, the usual subsidised meals and now a pay rise? We really are not ‘in this together’ are we?

Joanna, Swansea

The minimum wage recognises what people need to survive, so clearly 80% of just enough isn’t enough. If we’re out to protect people from falling into deep poverty and homelessness, we need to make sure everyone actually has enough to live on.

Sabrina, Glasgow

No one can afford to live on less than the minimum wage. The current scheme is unfair to the low paid.

Melanie, Redcar

Why should the poorest suffer most?

Alan, Powys



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