News | Published May 27 2020

Number of furloughed employees hits 8.4 million

The Treasury has said that 8.4 million workers have now been furloughed under the government’s Job Retention Scheme, an increase of around 400,000 on last week.

The scheme, brought in to help soften the blow of Covid-19 to UK businesses, ensures that employees receive 80 per cent of their monthly salary up to £2,500 from the state.

Originally intended to run until the end of July, chancellor Rishi Sunak has since extended the scheme until the end of October.

From August, Sunak indicated that firms will be asked to begin to share the cost of the scheme, even though the same level of earnings will be provided.

Elsewhere, employers’ claims for subsidies has risen to £15 billion, while self-employed workers have claimed a collective total of £6.8 billion under the similar Self-Employed Income Support Scheme.

The scheme for the self-employed involves a single instalment grant covering a three-month period and amounts to 80 per cent of average profit.

With the increase in costs from extending the Job Retention Scheme, the Office for Budget Responsibility has recently forecast that the cost of the government’s coronavirus mitigation efforts could reach £123.2 billion, with annual borrowing to equal 15.2 per cent of the UK economy.

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Authored by

Alexander Bridge-Wilkinson
Junior Editor
May 27 2020

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