From education to employment

Nearly a million workers used flexible furlough in July

NEARLY a million workers returned to their jobs part-time in the first month flexible furlough was introduced, statistics published today (18 Sept) show.

Flexible furlough began on the 1st July – giving businesses the flexibility to bring employees back part-time, with the government paying 80% of their wages for the hours not worked.

950,000 workers – 20% of those furloughed nationally – went back to offices, shops, restaurants and factories to work on a part-time basis.

Rishi Sunak 100x100Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer said:

“These figures show the success of our furlough scheme- making sure people’s jobs are there for them to return to.

“That so many businesses have been able to get back to trading, and bring their staff back to the workplace is a testament to the impact the scheme has had.”

Stephen Evans Dec 2018 100x100Stephen Evans, chief executive of Learning and Work Institute comments:

‘The number of furloughed workers continued to fall during July as the economy reopened, with particularly large falls in retail and hospitality. It’s great to see almost one million people partially furloughed, and were able to come back to work part of the time.

‘But the furlough scheme is due to end in October, and there were still 4.8 million jobs furloughed at the end of July.

‘It’s likely more people returned to work in August, but we think a new Job Support Scheme will be needed for the hardest hit sectors.’

At the height of the pandemic, 1.85 million employments in the retail and wholesale sector were furloughed,  but by the end of July this number had dropped to 789,000 with more than a million people off furlough.

New figures for the Self Employment Income Support Scheme also show which sectors have taken up the second grant, with 693,000 claims worth £2bn being made in the construction industry as the country’s builders get back to work.

Today’s news comes as 9.6 million jobs have been supported through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

This support for furloughed workers and businesses will continue through the £9 billion Job Retention Bonus, and other interventions in the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs – including the £2bn Kickstart scheme.

  • The CJRS statistics publication can be found here 
  • The CJRS figures in this data release are up until the 31st July for claims submitted to HMRC by 31 August.
  • The SEISS claims are for 17 to 31 August under the second SEISS grant.

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