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It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret!

It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret!

Around the world, the virus’ impact is affecting healthy people as workers are laid off and see hours reduced.

Recently, I had a conversation with a lady who contacted my office to find out more about starting her very own home-based recruitment agency.

She said she works for a major retail store and on Monday morning when she arrived at work, she saw this sign posted in the shop window:

This Store Will Be Closed For The Foreseeable Future!

The company had given her no warning, just this message displayed in the window of the shop.

Now, in this day and age of mobile technology, surely someone from the company’s head office could have at least sent her a text, as opposed to her turning up for work to see the sign.

She said that she had been working for this company for nine years, but right now thing are extremely scary, as she lives on her own, has three children under seven, and the company is not returning her calls and she did not receive her wages for last month into her bank account.

As the WHO declares the coronavirus a pandemic, public health officials are urging residents to practise “social distancing” by avoiding large groups, telecommuting when possible and cancelling nonessential large events.

What has followed is a large-scale quieting of many retail centres, and businesses, that were just recovering from the negative impact caused by the uncertainty of Brexit.

The widespread effort to control the spread of the virus, which seems to move easily from person to person, is already costing jobs and is likely to continue to do so.

People are rightfully concerned about the future, one recent news report said business – retail, travel and large event – are “apocalyptic.”

“If the Government doesn’t make radical changes and fast, you’re going to see a lot of businesses closing.”

For workers, the impact could be particularly painful. In a city as expensive as London — at a time when an unexpected expense would push many people into debt — the prospect of losing even one paycheque can be frightening for lower-wage workers, who often lack cash assets, or liquidity and more times than not just live from hand to mouth.

Sadly, today’s budget has offered nothing substantial to help people losing their jobs due to this virus.

The government is scrambling to find ways to mitigate the stress on both workers and businesses but are at a loss as to know what to do, these are unchartered waters they are going through.

TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said: “Today’s announcements won’t help the nearly 2 million people who miss out on sick pay because they don’t earn enough.

“Telling them to turn to the broken benefits system isn’t good enough. We need decent sick pay for all.”

Tim Roache, GMB general secretary, said there was “nowhere near enough” to help working people forced to self-isolate due to coronavirus.

He said: “Statutory sick pay is £18 per day, no one can live on that, and that’s what the government seems to expect the 20 per cent of the population who may have to self-isolate to do. If it’s possible, let’s see ministers do it.

“Coronavirus has highlighted the abysmal state of sick pay in this country. This Budget was an opportunity for the government to right a wrong, but typically they’ve completely ignored it.”

Coming back to my conversation with this lady, she said that what this experience has taught her is that companies today care about one thing and one thing only, and that is their bottom line.

After, nine years of loyal service, she feels abandoned and betrayed and never wants to be in a position where she is reliant on other people for her livelihood and now wants to start her own business.

How about you?

  • March 12, 2020

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