West Country workers 'scared and let down' after missing out on government support

  • Watch the full report from our reporter Max Walsh

Workers have told ITV News they feel forgotten and let down because they don't qualify for the Government's job retention scheme, suddenly leaving them without any income.

It's estimated thousands of people who changed jobs in March have missed out on the chance to be furloughed, where the government pays 80% of their wages.

Credit: ITV News

Laura Green, from Bristol, had recently swapped teaching for the world of online marketing. A big career change that she hoped would allow her to see her family in Colombia more often.

But because she wasn't on the payroll of her new company before March 19 she's been left without work and pay.

"I usually go to the supermarket and just buy whatever I want. Now I just buy whatever I really really need. It's very worrying because I don't have an income. I don't know what I'm going to do," said Laura

Laura's case is complicated further as she can't claim Universal Credit because of visa restrictions. Her previous employer is also unable to rehire and furlough her. She now faces the possibility of months without earning.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has taken a number of steps to make this scheme available to as many people as possible.

By changing the cut off date from 28th February to 19th March it's thought an extra 200,000 people will benefit.

But it's feared thousands of workers are still missing out

Michelle Charlick, pictured with her husband, admits she's scared.

In Plymouth, Michelle Charlick was looking forward to joining an estate agent as a sales negotiator after six months working for herself. But she wasn't on the company's payroll before the cut off date of March 19.

She's now trying to claim Universal Credit, but might only be eligible for £200 a month - that's a fraction of what she would normally be earning.

"I'm not sleeping. It has affected my anxiety. I wake up every morning and think what's going to happen next. I just think why am I not entitled? I've been a taxpayer for 40 years," said Michelle.

It's thought thousands of other workers are in a similar position.

And there is real concern if this continues for months, there may not be jobs for everyone to go back to.