1.3 million employees moving off furlough in March and April

1.3 million employees moving off furlough in March and April

Furlough numbers have fallen to their lowest level this year, according to official statistics published today, as the number of people relying on the scheme fell to 3.4 million.

The figures show that more than one million fewer employees accessed this government support across March and April, with some of the biggest falls in the under 18s and 18 to 24 age groups.

Since the start of the pandemic, more than 11.5 million employees and 1.3 million employers have now been supported by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

New figures also out today show that 2.8 million individuals benefitted from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme which has provided over £24 billion in support.

There are also other reasons to be optimistic about the outlook for the labour market, as ONS survey results released today estimate that the number of employees on furlough fell even further in early May.

HMRC data released last month showed that the number of payrolled employees jumped by nearly 100,000 in April. Together, this makes it clear that our Plan for Jobs is working to protect and create jobs across the country.

Alongside the furlough and self-employed schemes, the Kickstart scheme is creating thousands of new jobs for young people and a range of business grants and loans have provided a bridge so that businesses could make it through the pandemic.

What’s next for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)?

The furlough scheme will continue until the end of September, to provide support well beyond the end of the roadmap.

The government is taking a tapered approach, with employers starting to make a small contribution to paying their employees who are still on furlough from next month.

As the economy reopens and demand returns, the government will ask employers to make a small contribution of 10% towards the cost of paying for unworked hours from July. This employer contribution will increase to 20% in August and September.

This is the same approach the government successfully introduced last summer and the majority of employees went back to work.

As the economy continues to recover and demand returns, the government will shift its focus towards helping the economy to adapt and supporting people to grab hold of new opportunities, rather than keeping workers on furlough indefinitely.

This provides the right balance supporting thousands of firms and millions of employees as they get back in business.

ChamberConnect: Supporting the Wellbeing of Furloughed Employees Returning to the Workplace

On 18th June the Lincolnshire Chamber of Commerce are hosting a FREE panel event to help employers welcome back their staff to the workplace and to support their mental health. Click here to find out more about this event and to register.

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