Martin Lewis urges people to stop ‘furlough shaming’ workers for enjoying parks and beaches

11 June 2020, 10:28 | Updated: 11 June 2020, 10:42

Martin Lewis has urged people to stop 'furlough shaming'
Martin Lewis has urged people to stop 'furlough shaming'. Picture: PA Images/ITV

Martin Lewis has warned people against ‘furlough shaming’ those enjoying themselves during their time off.

Martin Lewis has hit out at anyone who is ‘furlough shaming’ people for enjoying their time at home during the pandemic.

Many social media users have been complaining of people ‘flouting furlough rules’ by using their time off work to lie in the park or sunbathe on the beach.

But the Money Saving Expert has said that it was down to employers to choose who was furloughed, and those on the scheme shouldn’t feel like they have to ‘sit inside being miserable.’

In fact, he added that relaxing in the sun is ‘the right thing to do’ and people shouldn’t be shamed for treating it as a holiday.

Martin Lewis has issued a warning to people
Martin Lewis has issued a warning to people. Picture: ITV

The 48-year-old told the BBC: "I've been hearing people and reading on social media... people saying things like 'people are flouting the furlough scheme by being on parks or at the beach or treating it as a holiday.

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"I just want to make something plain to everyone of that perspective.

“It is an employer who decides whether people are furloughed or not. And until the first of July part of furlough means you are not allowed to work while on furlough."

He added: "If people are saying people going to parks or beaches or treating it as a holiday are flouting the scheme, that seems to imply that people should be sitting at home cocooning themselves in misery while on furlough.

“It is not flouting the furlough scheme to be sitting in a park, to be reading a book, to be taking time off, it is actually the definition of the rules of the furlough scheme which says you cannot work.

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“I would argue differently... it is not flouting the furlough scheme to be sitting in a park, to be reading a book, to be taking time off, it is actually the definition of the rules of the furlough scheme which says you cannot work."

This comes after Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced plans to extend the government's furlough scheme for four months until October.

An estimated 6.5 million laid-off employees are currently using the taxpayer-funded programme, which is paying 80% of their earnings up to £2,500 per month.

Speaking to the commons, the chancellor announced "there will be no changes to the scheme whatsoever" until the end of July.

However, from August to October there will be "greater flexibility to support the transition back to work" which means employers will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time.

He stated that employers will then start sharing, with the government, the costs of paying people’s salaries with further details revealed towards the end of this month.

Rishi Sunak added: "Workers will, through the combined efforts of government and employers, continue to receive the same level of support as they do now, at 80% of their salary, up to £2,500."

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