Official figures show that the furlough scheme has worked: saving jobs and helping more than half of employees back to work already
More than half of those furloughed since May returned to work by mid-August according to data published by the Office for National Statistics.
At the schemes peak in May, 30% of the workforce across the UK was furloughed. The share of the workforce furloughed fell by more than half to 11% by mid-August - and will likely have fallen further since.
To tackle the impact that the coronavirus pandemic had on people’s jobs, businesses and livelihoods, the government introduced one of the most generous and comprehensive packages of support in the world, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The data comes as the Chancellor visited pottery firm Emma Bridgewater, who have recently returned nearly all of their furloughed staff to work. During the visit, he raised awareness of the Job Retention Bonus that will support companies returning staff to work and reward them for keeping them in their jobs.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:
As the official employment figures show, the furlough scheme has done what it was designed to do - save jobs and help people back to work, where they want to be.
We were clear at the start of the pandemic that we couldn’t save every job, but the furlough scheme has supported millions of workers and we want to help employers keep people on. Our Job Retention Bonus will do exactly that, supporting businesses to do the right thing.
Over the summer, ONS data shows that less than 1% of the workforce was made redundant in every 2 week survey period, showing that the scheme is delivering on its aim of saving jobs and retaining the connection between employees and their workplace.
The ONS Business Impact of Coronavirus Survey also shows that the flow of employees off furlough has been steady, falling by 6% in late July and a further 6% in early August.
By the time the scheme closes, it will have been open for eight months, with support continuing in the form of the Job Retention Bonus which kicks in from November and supports the wages of staff brought back to work.
The £1,000 Job Retention Bonus is equal to a 20% wage subsidy for the employment costs of the average person previously furloughed, but for those on lower incomes, it’s 40% of wage costs over the 3-month period to the end of January 2021.
The government is also creating new roles for young people through the £2 billion Kickstart scheme, creating incentives for training and apprenticeships.
- the total value of all CJRS claims made up to 31 August is £37.5 billion
- the £1,000 bonus is equivalent to 20% of the median employment costs for furloughed employees
- the figures also show the impact of Eat Out to Help Out and the cut to VAT for jobs in the hospitality and leisure sectors in August, as data shows the proportion of workers furloughed in these sectors fell from over 80% in May to less than 30% in mid-August
- almost 1 in 3 eligible employments have been supported by the scheme in each country and region within the UK at some point during the scheme
- the 30% is from Wave 6 of ONS’s survey
- the 11% is from Wave 12 of the survey
- HMRC statistics show that the number of employments furloughed peaked at 8.9 million on 8 May, with 9.6 million employments in total furloughed for at least part of the period between March to June. Further information can be found at ‘Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme statistics: August 2020’
Latest News from
Changes made to The Crown Estate Board22/02/2024 15:10:00
The Crown Estate has announced an extension to the Chair Sir Robin Budenberg CBE’s final term, one re-appointment and one new appointment to their board.
Tax saving for 38,000 pubs as alcohol duty freeze takes effect01/02/2024 15:20:00
More than 38,000 pubs are set to benefit from six-month freeze to alcohol duty from today.
£1,000 National Insurance cut boosts Britain’s paychecks31/01/2024 11:20:00
Millions of UK workers see boost in take home pay today as cut to National Insurance shows in January’s payslip as part of plan to reward work and boost growth.
Economic Secretary’s capital markets speech to Bloomberg26/01/2024 16:15:00
On Thursday 25th January, Economic Secretary to the Treasury Bim Afolami delivered a speech at Bloomberg’s London HQ about the drive for a capital markets renaissance.
Bank of England and HM Treasury respond to digital pound consultation25/01/2024 15:25:00
The Bank of England (the Bank) and HM Treasury have today published their response to the consultation on a digital pound that was launched in February 2023.
Chancellor in Davos to champion British excellence in tech18/01/2024 13:20:00
Jeremy Hunt champions British science and tech in first visit to the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland from a UK Chancellor since 2019
£1,000 yearly tax cut for households08/01/2024 11:10:00
27 million people across the UK will now benefit from a yearly tax cut worth hundreds of pounds, meaning a household with two average earners will save nearly £1,000 per year.
New tax credits for British film, TV and video game makers start from today01/01/2024 14:05:00
British film, TV and video game producers will benefit from new, more generous tax credits that start today (1 January 2024).