Kenny MacAskill calls for furlough help for seasonal workers

Call to extend furlough scheme

Saturday, 11th April 2020, 7:30 am
Kenny MacAskill says seasonal workers lose out under the Government's furlough scheme
Kenny MacAskill says seasonal workers lose out under the Government's furlough scheme

THE Government is being urged to extend its furlough scheme to cover temporary workers recently recruited for the new season but now unable to work because of the lockdown.

East Lothian SNP MP Kenny MacAskill said many people who relied on seasonal jobs in hotels, caravan sites and the like had contracts which started in March and did not qualify for the scheme.

He said: “Before the lockdown began I was at the DWP in Musselburgh and it was going like a fair because recruitment was going on for Seton Sands and other places - and that’s replicated across Edinburgh. There are many people in East Lothian and the city who depend on the seasonal work. It is factored in to how they live and we’ve got to take that into account and look after them. I think consideration should be given to allowing them to be furloughed for work which would have taken place.”

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He said around 20 per cent of the East Lothian economy was dependent on tourism.

“In a lot of places, people go back years after year and have worked at the same place for many a year. They’re used to kicking off in March and working through till October and often they will have further employment they do in the winter. There’s a good argument that companies should be able to put them on the books and furlough them. Had the lockdown happened in April they would already be on the books."