A MUM-OF-THREE has claimed she is struggling to put food on the table after her former employer, Barrhead Travel, refused to take her back on under the job retention scheme.

Anna-Marie Gill handed in her notice in early March but her new job offer was pulled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

With her soon-to-be employer no longer able to take on staff, she listened to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and asked her old company to add her back onto its payroll.

That move would have allowed her to receive 80 per cent of her wage – with Barrhead Travel able to apply to the government for a grant to cover the cost.

READ MORE: Glasgow woman 'penalised' by furlough scheme loophole calls for change

But the company turned down her request, saying its priority is staff "who are at risk of lay-off or redundancy and those in protected and vulnerable categories who are currently shielding".

An email, sent by Barrhead Travel, claimed other former employees had been knocked back too.

Workers who started their jobs in March can't be put on the furlough scheme by their new company as they weren't on the payroll on February 28, a cut-off date which the Chancellor says is needed to prevent fraud.

The situation has "infuriated" Ms Gill, who said she was "begging" for help.

She worked for the travel company, in Bearsden, for almost six years but feels like she has been "pushed aside".

"It's awful," she said, explaining how she was "going crazy" due to financial commitments, including loans and car payments, and food bills.

Her partner is classed as a key worker, due to his role as a firefighter, which means she can't access Universal Credit, she claimed, adding he is having to support her financially.

In the email from the company, Ms Gill was told there had been several similar requests from employees who resigned after February 28 and, to be "fair and reasonable" to all ex-employees, it would "exercise our right to refrain from reinstating all who make contact".

The email stated "we fully sympathise with the situation that you and others find themselves in" but added current staff were being prioritised.

Mr Sunak said: "If you were on payroll before February 28 and have left for any reason it is perfectly possible for your company to take you back and to furlough you.

"That will be a conversation for them but it is definitely possible."

And government guidance states: "If you made employees redundant, or they stopped working for you on or after February 28, you can re-employ them, put them on furlough and claim for their wages through the scheme."

The treasury committee, which scrutinises the government's economic policies, has told the Chancellor there "should be some flexibility" in the scheme to aid those who will receive no funds.

However, a Treasury spokesman has said the scheme was designed to "keep people attached to their companies" and employers can make the decision on whether to take people back on.

READ MORE: Thousands demand furlough scheme loophole is closed so people get wages

A Barrhead Travel spokeswoman said: "We understand how challenging things are right now but we cannot comment on personnel matters."

Around 65,000 people have signed a petition calling on the government to support workers who started, or were due to start, new jobs after February 28.

It states: "This is a huge oversight and puts thousands of workers at risk, and stuck in the place of having no income and little to no prospect of getting employment in this current economy."

A Facebook group - New Starter Furlough - now has more than 6500 members campaigning for help for those affected.