Meat industry call for flexible furlough
The Association of Independent Meat Suppliers (AIMS) is calling on the Government to introduce a flexible furlough scheme for the meat industry, following similar calls from other organisations such as Scottish Land & Estates.
Norman Bagley, head of policy for AIMS, said: “We welcome the measures taken by Government during this national emergency and in particular the ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme’ which allows for staff to be furloughed but as it stands this is very much a one size fits all scheme and simply doesn’t taken into account the differences that exist from industry to industry.”
AIMS, whose constituency MP is the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, have spoken with many of their members across all different points within the supply chain.
“We would like to see the option for flexible furlough whereby staff would receive their full earnings from their employers on the days they work and the 80% furlough payment on the days they don’t.”
Bagley continued: “What we are hearing is that many have seen a downturn in their businesses but do not have the need to fully close. We would like to see the option for flexible furlough whereby staff would receive their full earnings from their employers on the days they work and the 80% furlough payment on the days they don’t.”
“Many of our members supply much of what they produce to the hospitality industry who through Government instruction are not currently operating. They have some additional retail business, and many have moved into home delivery. However, those sales in no way will replace the business lost.”
AIMS believes that if businesses can operate flexible furlough then there would be a saving to the country’s finances and businesses would be more likely to survive the impact of coronavirus.
An AIMS board member and managing director of Euro Quality Lambs, Rizvan Khalid said: “To keep the food chain going as much as needed, and to reduce where it can, it makes more sense (to save money for the exchequer and to increase stay at home occasions) to have a flexible furlough scheme where abattoirs can decide on the number of days needed to meet their current demand.”