Nearly a million workers used flexible furlough in July

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

Nearly a million workers returned to their jobs part-time in the first month flexible furlough was introduced, statistics published this week 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 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.

This week’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 £2 billion Kickstart scheme.

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