Labour MPs led by Richard Burgon, who represents East Leeds, have written to Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, calling for a minimum wage floor that would prevent furloughed workers from receiving less than the National Minimum Wage.
Although Sunak has announced improvements to his Job Support Scheme – set to begin on Sunday (01 November) to replace the Job Retention Scheme that ends on Saturday (31 October) – the new support still provides nowhere near enough to live on, the group of 30 MPs said.
Under the new Job Support Scheme, furloughed workers who normally receive the National Minimum Wage could see their income fall by a third to as little as £5.81 per hour.
“A high proportion of workers in the sectors hit hardest by this pandemic are paid the minimum wage, and many will already have lost a significant amount of their income as a result of this pandemic,” the letter warned.
Burgon added: “Given that the cost of rent, bills and food have stayed the same, how can we expect people to manage on just two-thirds of the minimum wage?”