Of furloughed workers who could carry out at least 50 percent of their job from home, only 19 percent report working zero hours, new search finds.
Economists from the universities of Cambridge, Oxford and Zurich found that the prohibition of working whilst furloughed was routinely ignored, especially by men who can do a large percentage of their work tasks from home.
They also found that “not all workers are furloughed equally”, with women significantly more likely to be furloughed than men doing the same type of job.
The research paper explains there is evidence that child care responsibilities play an important role in explaining the gender gap. Mothers are 10 percentage points more likely than fathers to have initiated the decision to be furloughed as opposed to decision being “fully” or “mostly” the employers, when controlling for a rich set of job characteristics.
The paper also documents the differences in the terms under which workers were put on furlough, including whether employers agreed to top-up their employees’ salary beyond the state contribution. Women and those on low incomes were less likely to have their wages topped up beyond the 80 percent provided by the government.