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Letter: Forget 'playing around', people are working longer hours

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SIR – I felt I had to reply to the lead letter (Letters, 2nd July) which seemed to categorise a section of society as quote "playing around" at home while on furlough.

My daughter doesn't play around when she returns to her bedroom/office to work and have meetings after taking her child to nursery which she has done for 16 months. Also, more hours have been worked at home during this period.

Tesco founder Jack Cohen deserves respect, but that was 100 years ago!

Millions of people have had to change how they work, look after their children at home and still do because of the spread of the virus which means whole class bubbles have to self-isolate.

The whole world has to think differently about returning to the workplace as we knew it, due to climate change. The pandemic has proved that there is another way to work and communicate with each other.

People will return to the workplace, but not every day.

People's aspirations have changed and are not returning to their previous jobs but are retraining instead.

The workforce will change and those that don't return will be the same ones who didn't have the work ethic in the first place.

The furlough scheme has been a help to many, not "some".

Regarding the comment on our friends from other countries, we will always need them for our NHS, farming and hospitality.

We should welcome their culture, diversity and hard work. Brexit and recent Home Office rules have been our downfall for our precious workforce.

Finally, if we paid people a proper wage, especially in hospitality, and if we all recognised that we have to pay a little more for that service instead of getting it all on the cheap, people might actually return to those jobs and get the right hours and the respect they deserve.

Shirley Macey (retired),
New Milton

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