Abta’s chief executive has insisted the government is engaging in discussions around the inflexibility of the furloughing system.
The government will reimburse businesses 80% of a furloughed employee’s wage as part of the scheme, which was announced on 20 March, but it has proved difficult for the travel industry to benefit from because those staff members are not allowed to work while agencies are inundated with queries.
Speaking during TTG’s Keep Your Business Alive seminar last week, The Travel Village Group chief executive Phil Nuttall said agents should be seen as “frontline” workers. “The sales team has the relationship with the customer… it’s counterproductive at this time [to furlough them].”
Farina Azam, partner and travel lead at Kemp Little, advised there was “hope [the scheme] will change”.
Tanzer agreed “a much more flexible approach” was needed, “particularly as we move into… a recovery phase”.
“[Government] is engaging. The dialogue is there but sometimes the action is not as quick as we’d like,” he said.