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Closed petition Extend the furlough scheme for high-risk people who can't safely return to work.

We call on the Government to keep furlough going beyond August for those who are shielding or high-risk and cannot safely return to work. No one should have to choose between their job and their health.

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Tens of thousands of workers will not be able to go back to work because they still face a high risk from coronavirus.

People who are high-risk or shielding have made great sacrifices over the last few months to protect themselves, their families and the NHS, and it would be hugely unfair if they lost their jobs as a result.

These people have supported all of us by keeping themselves safe from the virus, now it's time for us to reciprocate by helping to protect their jobs.

This petition is closed All petitions run for 6 months

23,051 signatures

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Government responded

This response was given on 24 August 2020

Previously furloughed employees who are unable to work from home but are still Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) can still be furloughed flexibly under the CJRS until the end of October.

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The Government continues to ensure that the Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) can be suitably protected and have access to adequate support as the country returns to work. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) flexible furloughing is designed to ensure that employees, especially those who may be shielding, are able to talk with their employer and agree options as to their work.

From 1 August, the government has relaxed advice to those who may be shielding or are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) in order to ensure that they can still stay at home as much as possible, but that if they are unable to work from home they can work on site, if the work environment is COVID-safe.

It is important that CEV people continue to take careful precautions, and employers should do all they can to enable them to work from home where this is possible, including by moving them to another role if required. Where this is not possible, CEV people should be provided with the safest onsite roles that enable them to maintain social distancing from others.
Employees who are unable to work from home but are still CEV can still be furloughed flexibly under the CJRS until the end of October, provided they have previously been furloughed for at least 3 consecutive weeks taking place any time between 1 March 2020 and 30 June.

Clinically extremely vulnerable people who may not be eligible for the CJRS are also able to benefit from the Government’s unprecedented package of financial support. This includes an increase in welfare payments worth a further £9.3bn according to Office for Budget Responsibility estimates, help in obtaining food and medicine, and £500million provided for councils to help support the vulnerable.

HM Treasury