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Women in Winchester more likely to be furloughed

Women in Winchester were more likely to be placed on furlough during the last lockdown, according to new research.

The Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London said that women are also likely to be first in line for redundancy when the scheme ends.

Dr Rose Cook said: “Women who have been kept on full furlough for months are also likely to be first in line for redundancy once the furlough scheme comes to an end. This means that for many women, furlough is a stop-gap to unemployment rather than a job retention scheme.”

Rishi Sunak has just pledged billions of pounds of extra help to replace the Job Retention Scheme on November 1.

After Boris Johnson announced a second national lockdown on October 31st, women around Winchester spoke out about their concerns and experiences regarding the furlough scheme.

Nastasja Turno-Abang, who worked in Debenhams in the city centre, was made redundant the same day she got her positive Covid test result as she worked in the travel money booth which was no longer in use due to the pandemic.

She said: “It was really a struggle. I had very bad anxiety from worrying how I’d survive life if I ever did survive Covid. I’ve had to apply for universal credit, was unemployed for over five months, applied to over 50 jobs.

“I worked at Debenhams in town, at the travel money booth. Since the booth closed even before lockdown began and up until now, I didn’t have a job to return to anymore and was made redundant.” 

Teagan Knight, a former assistant manager for a mother and baby store in Winchester, said it was hard to balance child care and her job.

She said: “I worked for a mother and baby store in the high street as assistant manager for over two years whilst raising my two children.

“I got furloughed in March, and wasn’t put in a good light.”

Statistics from HM Revenue and Customs show 11% of women in Winchester had their jobs furloughed at the end of August – 3,100 overall. This was higher than the 9% of men (2,400) who were placed on furlough around the same time. 

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