M633 – End of Furlough Scheme Protection and Return to Work Motion 2020

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Andrew97
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M633 – End of Furlough Scheme Protection and Return to Work Motion 2020, Miss Maddie MP

The live events sector is worth over £70bn to the UK economy in direct spending alone [1]. However, when people attend events there is a boost for the surrounding businesses such as hotels, restaurants and pubs. When the impact on the supporting businesses is considered, the overall contribution to the UK economy is significantly higher. Furthermore, the supply chain businesses providing services to support live events (equipment hire, specialist audio technicians, food production etc...) also see significant challenges [1].

Nearly 600,000 people are directly employed by the live events industry (this figure excludes employees in surrounding businesses and supply chain businesses). The furlough scheme ends in October and so far over 9.5 million workers have been furloughed. The furlough scheme is ending despite large-scale live events still being banned without a definitive date for their unrestricted return.

The majority of those 600,000 workers are still on furlough. For even the biggest companies, a 98% drop in revenue has meant job losses are certain and it is only a matter of time before jobs start going in the UK [2]if the industry does not restart before the furlough scheme ends. The situation is worse at smaller companies. It is predicted that up to 60% of the entire industry could be made redundant [3]. It should be noted that this 60% does not include the front-line staff on minimum wage and ZHCs who can simply not be given hours. That is 60% of full time, contracted staff!

To save the industry and the workers in the live events sector this House calls on the government to:

(1) Extend the job retention scheme, at the full 80% being paid by the government, for the sector to prevent redundancies.
(2) Provide the sector with a clear plan of when and how they can expect to open.

OR

(1) Allow all venues to reopen at full capacity on the 1st November.
(2) Recognise social distancing is not possible inside these venues and accept that masks could be worn instead as a requirement for opening at full capacity or testing conducted on arrival.

References

[1] https://www.business-live.co.uk/opin...-rest-18874444
[2] https://www.dailynews.com/2020/09/04...d-19-drags-on/
[3] https://www.installation-international.com/events/114000-jobs-at-risk-in-events-industry-says-we-make-events#:~:text=The%20UK's%20tour ing%20and%20events,according%20t o%20the%20%23WeMakeEvents%20camp aign
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Miss Maddie
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A very obvious aye from me!

I've asked numerous times what the government is planning to do and I have been fobbed off every time. I would rather the second options be taken. They're more sustainable than extending the furlough scheme. Either way, doing something and protecting the sector is better than nothing.
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Mr T 999
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Aye! I prefer the second option, however.
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Aph
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Andrew97 the field is broken.
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Andrew97
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(Original post by Aph)
Andrew97 the field is broken.
Fixed.
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04MR17
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I am sympathetic to the views presented in this motion and look forward to the debate on it.
If this motion were to pass I'd be advocating for a combination of the actions presented within - I would extend the furlough scheme until December and have reopening at close to capacity from January.
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JMR2020.
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I disagree with this, especially with the rise in cases which makes working dangerous. Furthermore other European countries have longer furlough schemes than the UK as it is.
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by JMR2020.)
I disagree with this, especially with the rise in cases which makes working dangerous. Furthermore other European countries have longer furlough schemes than the UK as it is.
Why do you disagree with extending furlough then?
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Saracen's Fez
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I think we do need to extend furlough in these sectors, but also it's not reasonable to expect concrete plans beyond the short-term at present.
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SnowMiku
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We're can't do more than guess what will happen in terms of cases, but I agree that we need to get certain sectors up again. However, since that also doesn't look likely... extending furlough is an option.
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04MR17
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
I think we do need to extend furlough in these sectors, but also it's not reasonable to expect concrete plans beyond the short-term at present.
I personally think (and this is targeted towards IRL government) they've had plenty of time to create plans of how the sector would be supported into recovery and ways that venues could manage things in certain situations were they reopened. While "concrete" might be the wrong adjective for what I'm describing, I certainly think that the level of uncertainty on this is unacceptable.
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JMR2020.
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
Why do you disagree with extending furlough then?
I don't but I disagree with opening everything at full capacity on 1 November.
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by Saracen's Fez)
I think we do need to extend furlough in these sectors, but also it's not reasonable to expect concrete plans beyond the short-term at present.
Is it unreasonable? The sector has already submitted proposals to the government that involve mandatory masks, testing on arrival, testing of all staff, and a test and trace system better than average as they already have everyone's details. At the very least the government should have provided feedback on the measures and decide the limit for reopening. The government can quantify a threshold for a quarantine list so it should be able to quantify a threshold for a return whether it be fewer than 10 cases per 100,000 people or 1 case per 100,000 people.
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Miss Maddie
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(Original post by JMR2020.)
I don't but I disagree with opening everything at full capacity on 1 November.
You haven't read the motion then. The motion calls for the government to choose between options. Extend furlough OR reopen in November. Do you not trust the government to pick what you perceive to be the right one?
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Possibly this
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I very much agree with the sentiments of this motion and think that furlough must be extended for these workers. Not complying with either of those plans set out in the motions would put the entire sector into a chokehold, which will make the UK Economy suffer for years to come.
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CatusStarbright
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I am sympathetic to the suffering of this sector, and I am open to a number of the actions mentioned in this motion. It's an aye from me.
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Saracen's Fez
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(Original post by Miss Maddie)
Is it unreasonable? The sector has already submitted proposals to the government that involve mandatory masks, testing on arrival, testing of all staff, and a test and trace system better than average as they already have everyone's details. At the very least the government should have provided feedback on the measures and decide the limit for reopening. The government can quantify a threshold for a quarantine list so it should be able to quantify a threshold for a return whether it be fewer than 10 cases per 100,000 people or 1 case per 100,000 people.
I think it's unreasonable to expect concrete timings, yes, because that will depend on the direction of travel with inflection numbers. I'm not sure what you mean by 'testing on arrival', but I'm not aware of any test that could identify coronavirus sufficiently quickly to be useful in preventing an infectious person spreading the virus in the venue.
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Tinders
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The furlough scheme does need extending. Possibly to at least 2021 especially if a second COVID-19 wave hits the UK. Although it should only be for sectors who cannot reasonably operate under the government's guidelines. As live events industry does fit into the category of being unable to reasonably operate under the government's guidelines, especially with the recent introduction of 6 person limits to social gatherings, and how valuable live events is to our economy, I would happily support this motion.
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Rakas21
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Mr Speaker, i am minded to support the motion when it enters division.

As the motion is reasonably open in what it asks and the 28 day timetable does not conflict with my current plans this is not something i object to. In addition i thank the Hon. Member for saving LOL or somebody else a job in testing the waters in the House on furlough since i have already penciled in a couple of Corona related measures relevant to my department (to be honest i expected more of a fight so its pleasing to see ).

Ironically though i'll be taking MQ's in a week though so you could have saved yourself the motion.
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Unown Uzer
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It's interesting that this motion accepts that "masks could be worn instead as a requirement for opening", when I believe the member who proposed this does not believe in the effectiveness of masks and that wearing them is pointless. If that's the case, wouldn't allowing live events where social distancing is not possible just result in more people getting infected, which can then spread to vulnerable groups and cause many more deaths?
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