Arguably the government has a moral obligation to provide emergency financial support to workers who go on to part-time work when furlough ends next month.
Because the Job Retention Bonus Rishi Sunak announced in the summer is a conspicuous incentive to businesses to re-employ more people part-time rather than fewer people full time: it rewards companies with a £1,000 bonus if they re-employ workers they take back from furlough into paid work at a minimum wage of just £520 a month.
For an employer, re-employing two part-time people at £520 each yields that business £2,000 in bonuses, whereas taking back just one full time worker at £1040 a month delivers a single £1,000 bonus.
So with money so tight, what will a rational employer actually do? And since Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson are in this way promoting part-time work, they surely must ensure it’s not breadline work, that it pays.
I understand they have grasped the economic logic of the bonus scheme, so I would expect them to launch such a new system of topping up the incomes of part-time workers, and soon.