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    Fears Britain’s ‘redundancy floodgates will open’ as millions of furloughed workers will TODAY find out if they could lose their jobs on October 31 – as PM is urged to extend £35bn scheme

    • Unite’s Len McCluskey has warned of a ‘miserable’ Christmas for out of work
    • He has written to Boris Johnson urging him to intervene in potential jobs axe
    • Councillors have also penned a message airing furlough end concerns and fears
    • Firms planning to make 100 plus redundant have to start a 45-day consultation
    • It means if they plan to cut jobs before the furlough scheme ends in late October, workers will be told today if their positions and livelihoods are at risk of going

    Mass redundancies are feared ahead of the furlough scheme ending next month – with millions of workers set to learn today if they still have employment.

    Unions and around 1,200 Labour councillors and mayors across the UK have written to the Prime Minister airing their concerns.

    They want a targeted financial support scheme to prevent ‘mass unemployment’ as the job retention scheme stops. 

    Regulations on workers’ rights state companies looking to make over 100 staff redundant have to start a 45-day consultation period.

    It means those looking to lay off employees before furlough stops at the end of October legally have to start those talks before tomorrow, September 17.

    Unite union leader Len McCluskey has called on Boris Johnson to stop bosses opening the ‘redundancy floodgates’ when the scheme winds down.

    The general secretary wrote to the Prime Minister, warning that workers face a ‘miserable’ Christmas when furlough comes to an end.

    Unite union boss Len McCluskey warns of a ‘miserable’ Christmas when furlough ends

    Separately another letter from councillors outlines support for the Alliance for Full Employment, launched by former prime minister Gordon Brown, the North’s Metro Mayors, the Welsh First Minister, Mayor of Bristol and Mayor of Greater London, Sadiq Khan, last week.

    It has called for a financial system that targets industries worst hit by the pandemic to be set up to ensure income for people forced to self-isolate.

    Chancellor Rishi Sunak has already ruled out extending furlough arguing ‘indefinitely keeping people out of work is not the answer’.  

    Jack Abbott, a councillor on Suffolk County Council, said: ‘The communities we represent are facing an unprecedented employment crisis should Boris Johnson not reverse his decision to withdraw the furlough scheme in its entirety – he is putting millions of jobs at risk.

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has received letters urging him to stop mass redundancies

    Prime Minister Boris Johnson has received letters urging him to stop mass redundancies

    ‘The fact that well over 1,000 councillors and local representatives have signed this letter underlines the strength of feeling behind this campaign.

    ‘Without targeted support for sectors and local lockdown areas that have been badly affected by the pandemic, we know that viable businesses will fail and employment will be lost. This will extinguish any hopes of a quick economic recovery from the deep recession we are facing.’

    Gordon Brown, added: ‘So many Labour leaders across the localities of Britain coming together to back our Alliance for Full Employment shows the extreme anxiety about mounting unemployment.

    ‘Councillors know best what is happening in their local communities where too many people are worried sick about their livelihoods.

    Empty offices are starting to have staff return after the ravages of strict coronavirus lockdown

    Empty offices are starting to have staff return after the ravages of strict coronavirus lockdown

    ‘Mass unemployment is not the inevitable economic outcome to the Covid pandemic, but it will be unless the Prime Minister makes the political decision to change course.’

    A Treasury spokesman said: ‘The furlough scheme has done what it was designed to do – save jobs and help people back into employment.

    ‘And many of our unprecedented interventions – including the Job Retention Bonus, business rates holidays, VAT cuts and the Kickstart Scheme – will ensure this support continues into next year.

    ‘We’ve not hesitated to act in creative and effective ways to support jobs and we will continue to do so as we recover from this crisis.’

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