A FORMER estate agent broke down in tears as he saw plans to start his new dream job and his livelihood disappear.

Greg Turner, 29, had been working as an estate agent in Hove, but was preparing to start a job in finance this month.

But because he resigned from his post and was only set to start in his new job last week, he is not entitled to the Government’s “furlough” holiday pay.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak had outlined plans to pay 80 per cent of the wages of employees for three months for businesses forced to close due to coronavirus.

But Mr Turner, who has a mortgage with his partner in Worthing, said he has been left without any income as his new employer told him they cannot take him on into the furlough scheme and his former employer cannot help either.

“I was in tears all day when I found out,” he said.

“It is terrible. I got off the phone from my new company who told me they can’t take me on at the moment.

“My former company won’t put me on furlough so I’m left stuck between a rock and a hard place.

“I have lost about 90 per cent of my income overnight, and the prospect of finding another job is now very difficult.”

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He now fears he will be unable to claim Universal Credit because the combined income with his partner’s salary may make him ineligible.

“I’ve had to ask for a mortgage holiday. Thankfully my partner is still working, though she is not particularly highly paid,” he said.

The Chancellor’s announcement of “furlough” payments was the largest bailout of the workforce in British history, but some workers like Mr Turner have fallen through the cracks and gaps in the legislation.

Mr Turner said his new employer had agreed to take him on, but said he was only told last week that the situation had changed.

He says it has left him a few weeks behind other job seekers who were made redundant before the crisis measures were put in place by the Government.

“I was really excited about starting the new job,” he said. “It was going to improve my work-life balance, with better pay and allow me to work closer to home.

“It was an opportunity I could not turn down.

“The company at first reassured me I would be taken on, but then I got the phone call last week telling me they could not take me on.

“They would still like me to join, but cannot give a timescale of when that might be.”

An online petition to support those who were set to change jobs and start new work has been set up online.

Mr Turner said a poll of about 100 people asked if anyone had received any support from previous employers but they all said no.

He has approached his MP Tim Loughton, and said he was told that the situation is being discussed by the Government.

For now though, he will have to apply for Universal Credit benefits and seek any work he can.

To view the petition online, visit www.change.org and search for “Review Furlough”.

  • The coronavirus Sussex Crisis Fund has been set up to help those affected by the pandemic. The Argus’s charity and American Express have each donated £50,000 to kick-start the appeal. Grants will usually be for up to £5,000. More information is available at www.sussexgiving. org.uk/apply. To donate visit www.totalgiving.co.uk/appeal/sussexcrisisfund