Have you been furloughed and what does it mean?
I was furloughed yesterday.
It’s a word most of us had never heard of last week, before the Chancellor laid out it’s crisis package for businesses. Now I am one of many workers who have temporarily been put out to pasture in an attempt to stop the haemorrhaging. My job is in the travel industry – understandably very badly hit in the short term by the global Coronavirus outbreak. Having Googled what it actually means, I now understand that I absolutely cannot work during this “leave of absence”, normally granted to a member of the services or a missionary. Mine is for the next eight weeks (to start with) and the government have offered an unprecedented package which means that we can remain on 80% salary. That is an incredible relief for business owners to know that there is a support system for employees during the current Coronavirus crisis and a way to safeguard employment and pay. The worry is of course, that no one is sure how long the Government are going to be able to sustain it, but at least it’s reassuring for many at the moment and for many bosses it’s a relief to know that they won’t have to immediately lay people off or make them redundant.
It’s going to be very hard for those who have lost full time jobs who live alone. That will change everything in their day to day lives, but at least it is a short term solution to an incredibly difficult problem and hopefully we can all get our jobs back when everything picks up again.
So we are now on Day 4 of lockdown and I don’t have a job, so now I’m writing up new lists on what to do instead.
We’ve all been having a lot of video calls and catch ups and most evenings have been hanging out with friends and family and co-workers around the country and drinking….I am already having to restock my stockpiling of wine. This is not good. Loving all the memes though and the one that fits the mood right now is:-
“For the third time this week I’m buying booze for the next two weeks”
Went to the supermarket yesterday – the queue was quite long, but mainly that was because we were all socially distancing. It took about 20 minutes to get in and then it was all very civilised, with mostly full shelves. Even the loo rolls are back in their droves. We were given trollies that had been sterilised and asked to stay away from all our fellow shoppers. Not good then that halfway through I realised I was pushing someone else’s trolley around by accident.
I’m planning to pick up on the Pilates and hopefully link up with my usual class via Zoom – but I’m a bit worried because I’m not sure how to use Zoom and also what about the angles?? It’s bad enough when you have to show your face, let alone when you have to show your whole body…we will see and I bet my friends just let me get on with it whilst laughing at me drinking wine. I need my tech savvy daughter to help me set it up and she’s still got her job, so I can’t annoy her too much with my requests for assistance.
Walking in the park is keeping us going and the three of us are sharing the cooking duties. Well, sort of…the balance could be better, but it’s early days. The weather is gorgeous at least and the blossom is out. Aeroplanes usually fly directly overhead all day. With no planes and virtually no cars, it’s amazing what you can hear and see. A time for reflection and a reminder that this glorious natural world goes on, no matter what.
Our cat is loving all the extra company at least!