Working while on furlough.

Furloughed workers could boost their incomes by taking driving jobs in the run-up to Christmas, a leading recruitment group has said.

The demand for drivers is far out-stripping supply and Christmas presents could go undelivered unless more drivers are found, according to Berry Recruitment.

It is an ideal opportunity for those on furlough to make some extra money, meaning they could be earning more than their full-time income.

With the second lockdown increasing demand for delivered goods and the Christmas rush already underway the demand for drivers will continue to grow.

Lee Gamble, managing director of Berry Recruitment, said: “Many on furlough might not know that they can work as drivers – but they can with their employers’ permission.

“Those who have been made redundant haven’t come through into the driving sector in great numbers – we’d have expected to see more and we’re not sure why.

“And with many Eastern Europeans still in their home countries from the first lockdown, we have an acute shortage.

“Those on furlough can work for other businesses as long as their employers allow them.

“Not only will this increase their overall income, but it might also help with their mental health.

“Some people have been off work since March and getting back into some form of work might well do them good.

“Online ordering is only going one way and every click needs a delivery driver.

“Other roles are also in demand such as people to pick, pack and prepare the goods.

“Those who perhaps have taken pay cuts could also boost their incomes by taking driving jobs and do deliveries in the evenings, for example.

“The trend for online deliveries was already significant before the pandemic, but the lockdowns have accelerated it.

“Our branches across the country are reporting the same trends and it comes down to a need for drivers, of all classes.”

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