CIPR issues response to furlough scheme extension: "provides more time and more options" but no further support for self-employed practitioners
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) has welcomed the Government’s extension of the furlough scheme until October but remains disappointed in the lack of measures announced to support many self-employed practitioners - particularly those operating as limited company directors.
The Chancellor’s announcement extends the existing scheme, which supports workers to receive 80% of their current salary – up to £2,500 - and has been updated to allow businesses to offer furloughed employees part-time return to work. Details of how the scheme will operate are yet to be published.
The CIPR has been calling for the Government to extend the support available for self-employed practitioners and has been lobbying the government together with a number of other membership bodies. The Institute previously published evidence from practitioners who have been impacted and data from the PR Cavalry which shows the existing support package fails to protect two-thirds of freelancers.
The decision to extend and provide flexibility to the furlough scheme is a welcome one and will come as a great relief to businesses of all sizes. It provides more time, more options and less urgency to step towards the cliff edge of having to make redundancies, which would hit the public relations profession hard.
The deep economic shock is being felt across the country and the relief this news brings to businesses, sadly, will not help those self-employed practitioners who have had all work cancelled and who are ineligible for any financial support. As we have continually said, these hard-working professionals play a crucial role in supporting the economy and yet are not getting any kind of help.
The Government have launched an online tool for the self-employed to check eligibility for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)
Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.
The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).