Roughly 30 workers at the firm were either fired or took voluntary redundancy when they refused to come back to work on Friday, Mr Mullins said. The 67-year-old millionaire controversially accused some of his staff of “milking the system” after the Government agreed to pay 80 percent of the wages of people who couldn’t work due to the pandemic. Of the unprecedented Government scheme rolled out by Chancellor Rishi Sunak to combat the economic devastation wreaked by coronavirus, he said: “I think it’s been badly abused and milked by a lot of people who don’t want to go back to work.”
He also implied some of the workers at his successful company had become so accustomed to being at home they had no intention of coming back to work.
The business magnate said: “I had people begging to come back to work.
“And I had other people telling everybody the last thing they wanted to do was to go back to work.
“And they’ll stay on furlough as long as they can.”
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Speaking from Marbella, he added: “We made a decision on Friday that you’re either back to work or we’ve made you redundant.
“The furlough scheme was a good idea and it was the lifeline that businesses and workers needed at the time.”
Mr Sunak is now gearing up to wind down the Government intervention in a bid to get Britain back to work again and provide the economy with much-needed stimulus.
Downing Street has even offered companies a £1,000 incentive if they employ furloughed workers between November and January 2021.
“You’ve got to take the rough with the smooth. You’ve got to take the criticism.
“I said from day one, I’m not prepared to pay anybody to sit at home and do nothing.
“Now this has kicked into play… we’ve made people redundant.”
The tycoon went on to suggest the furlough scheme should be replaced with measures to help the most troubled industries suffering in the crisis.
Making the case for more targeted measures, he suggested the Treasury should provide additional support for vulnerable people unable to work due to the pandemic.
He also implored other employers to follow his lead by taking their workforce off the furlough scheme.