Furloughed staff urged to harvest fruit and veg in order to fill migrant labour gap 

The number of seasonal migrant farm workers in Britain stands at around a third of its typical level at this time of year, according to environment secretary George Eustice, with reports that the UK government plans to step up its campaign to recruit furloughed workers into agriculture. With almost four million UK workers absent from their workplaces on ‘furlough’, the farming and horticultural industry hopes many will help fill the agricultural gap given the sector’s reliance on seasonal migrant labour. Furloughed staff cannot work for their employers, but can take up temporary work elsewhere.

“We are working with industry to identify an approach that will encourage those millions of furloughed workers in some cases to consider taking a second job, helping get the harvest in in June,” Eustice said in the Downing Street coronavirus briefing on Sunday. 


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