The Independent Garage Association (IGA) has written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, requesting an enhancement to the furlough scheme so that employees can partially return to work as the country prepares for the next phase of lockdown restrictions.
Stuart James, IGA Chief Executive stated: “As businesses ready themselves for the next stage of lockdown, we are asking the Chancellor for a level of flexibility within the furlough scheme so businesses can be supported throughout their reopening.
“Garages have been classified as an essential service throughout this crisis, however it has been very difficult for many of them to remain open in the current climate. It is common for garages to have staff dedicated to the role of MOT testing who do not repair cars. Due to the drop off in work volumes caused by the MOT extension and lockdown restrictions, garage owners have been left with no choice but to furlough these dedicated staff and, in many cases, close their business.
“Most MOT tests are booked in advance, so if testers were able to return to work part-time with the help of a enhanced furlough scheme it would reduce the costs to the government, help garage businesses reopen in a phased, progressive manner, and help the economy work its way back to normality.
“We urge the Chancellor to consider a system similar to the French furlough system that gives businesses the flexibility to bring in employees as and when they are needed, while claiming back a percentage of their salary for any hours not worked.”