HM Treasury
Printable version

Nearly a million workers used flexible furlough in July

950,000 workers got back to work part-time in July according to new figures.

  • number of workers in retail on furlough halved from the start of the pandemic from 1.85 million to 789,000.
  • stats also show construction sector received more than £2 billion in support with SEISS grants for self-employed workers

Nearly a million workers returned to their jobs part-time in the first month flexible furlough was introduced, statistics published recently (18 September 2020) 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, Chancellor of the Exchequer recently 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.

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 £2 billion being made in the construction industry as the country’s builders get back to work.

The recent 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 £2 billion Kickstart scheme.


  • view the CJRS statistics publication
  • 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


Channel website:

Original article link:

Share this article

Latest News from
HM Treasury

Working like a pro: How can UK Public Sector maximise remote worker productivity?