job retention furlough scheme how to prepare

Job Retention Scheme And Furlough – What’s Next And How To Prepare?

What could the end of the furlough scheme mean for you? 5 steps you should be taking to be prepared for the end of the job retention scheme.

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To say that the coronavirus pandemic has been confusing would be an understatement. One of the biggest problems we all face is the issue of job security in the coming months.


In this article I will explain what the job retention and furlough scheme is, when it’s ending and how this might affect your job.


Also, I’ll take you through a few steps you should be taking to be prepared in case the worst were to happen.


This article was written on 10/08/2020. Please check the government website for up to date information.

Table of Contents

What Is The Job Retention Scheme?

The job retention scheme was put into place at the start of the coronavirus pandemic to help people keep their jobs. Businesses had to close and lost a lot of money – if the government hadn’t of stepped in, a lot of people would have been made redundant.

The government is helping businesses by letting them put staff on the furlough scheme. Up until 31 August the government paid 80% of furloughed employees wages up to a cap of £2,500 for hours not worked.

Employers can keep someone on ‘part time’ furlough. For example, if you normally work 5 days a week, your employer might ask you to come back for two days a week.

The Furlough Scheme Is Ending

The furlough scheme is ending on 31st October 2020.

Throughout the last few months of the scheme, the government will gradually reduce the full 80% they currently contribute. Eventually, this will decrease to 60% and then end completely.  It will then be up to employers to make up the rest.

This is designed to continue to give businesses some relief through the coming recession, whilst encouraging them to get their staff back to work.

What Does This Mean For You?

The terrible reality is that, for a lot of people, there is no way to know if your job is going to be safe.

What makes matters worse is that if you do end up needing to find another job, there will be lots of people in the same situation as you. This means that there will be a lot more competition for vacancies.

That is why it is so important you start preparing now. 

But don’t panic! Follow these steps to put you head and shoulders above the competition, ready for if the worst were to happen.

1. Get Organised

organised desk

Make sure you have all the relevant information and paperwork ready to go as soon as you need it. So, if you did get made redundant, you could start applying for jobs straight away.

Make sure you have the following information written down and recorded.

  • Make sure your CV is ready, click here to read our article on how to write the perfect CV.
  • The salary of your previous jobs.
  • The address of your previous employers.
  • The number, email, and permission of everyone you’d want to use as a reference. (Excluding your current employer! They might mistake this request for you wanting to leave their company, which could unfairly increase your chances of getting made redundant).
  • A list of your skills and an explanation of how you use them in your current role.
  • The board, date and grade of all of your qualifications.
  • Your current notice period.
  • How much annual leave you have left for this holiday year.

2. Invest In Yourself

For a lot of people, right now probably doesn’t seem like the best time to be spending money.

However, by investing in some training courses, you’ll make yourself much more attractive to employers.

For example, most employers require their staff to be GDPR trained. If you have this on your CV already, then this could give you an advantage over other candidates.

Here are some courses that employers would like to see on your CV.

3. Keep An Eye Out For Vacancies

This means if you do get the dreaded phone call, you’ll already have some jobs in mind that you want to apply for. Not sure what sort of job you would want? Read our article on how to find a job that you love.

Here are some great job sites that you should keep an eye on.

  • Indeed – they have a great app. You’re also able to set up email notifications.
  • Reed
  • LinkedIn

4. Set Up A LinkedIn

LinkedIn sign

LinkedIn is great for several reasons. 

  • Networking – you should always be actively networking to help your career progression. LinkedIn makes this easy!
  • Find vacancies – it has a great job searching section.
  • LinkedIn has a career advice section.
  • Shows that you’re ‘a modern professional’. It can help to show that you’re knowledgeable about IT and serious about your career.

5. Surround Yourself With A Supportive Community

Perhaps one of the hardest aspects of the coronavirus pandemic is how it’s affected everyone’s mental health.

Although it might feel like it, you are not alone in how you are feeling.

But how do you find people who are going through something similar?

I wanted to solve this problem and provide a place for young professionals to meet each other! So, I have started the honey&watch Career Support For Women Facebook group!

I will be on the group regularly, so if you have any queries about employment, job searching or office life please feel free to post your questions!

I have plans for online networking events, workshops, cocktail nights and quizzes!

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