Part-time workers could be left behind with half being furloughed or having their hours cut during pandemic

Nearly half of part-timers were furloughed or had their hours cut during the pandemic compared to one in three full-timers

Part-time workers run the risk of being left behind with half being furloughed or having their hours cut during the pandemic, a new study suggests.

Analysis of official figures for campaign group Timewise indicated that full-time employees began to return to their normal hours last year in greater proportions to part-time employees.

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Part-time workers run the risk of being left behind with half being furloughed or having their hours cut during the pandemic (Shutterstock)

At a glance: 5 key points

- 44% of part-timers were furloughed or had their hours cut during the pandemic compared to one in three full-timers

- The report said “that people working in part-time roles have borne the brunt of UK job losses, furlough and further reduction in working hours”

- Women, ethnic minority groups and younger people have suffered the most in the pandemic - with many in part-time jobs

- The impact of furlough has left many part-timers feeling they are “clinging on to disappearing jobs”

- The report said the furlough scheme has kept millions of employees in work but was “masking” significant challenges

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What’s been said

“With the furlough scheme set to end in September, part-time employees feel they are clinging on to jobs that will soon disappear and cannot find new part-time jobs to apply for.

“They will effectively be locked out of work, because just 8% of UK jobs are advertised with part-time options. We need a jobs recovery that is inclusive of people who need to work less, not just remotely.

“This is vital to prevent inequalities from widening further and the clock rolling back on gender equality.”

Timewise’s director of development, Emma Stewart

Background

The furlough scheme was introduced during the first lockdown in March 2020 and was designed to protect jobs from the impact of the pandemic.

The government initially covered up to 80% of wages of employees that were temporarily out of work, up to £2,500 per month.

The scheme is set to end on September 30 but employers will be expected to contribute to the payments from July.

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