Flexible furlough brought 20% of employees back to work

28 September 2020

HMRC have reported that nearly a million workers returned to their jobs part-time in the first month that flexible furlough was introduced.

On the 1 July, employers could allow employees to return to work on flexible arrangements but could still claim via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) covering 80% of employee’s wages for any hours not worked.

It has been reported that 950,000 workers returned to offices, shops, restaurants, and factories on a part-time basis, which equated to 20% of those employees who were furloughed nationally.

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer said:

“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.”

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

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

9.6 million jobs have been supported through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which will cease on 31 October 2020. This support for furloughed workers and businesses will continue through the Job Retention Bonus, and other interventions in the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs – including the Kickstart scheme.

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