Furlough Scheme: More than half of furloughed workers have now returned to work

More than half of the workers placed on furlough leave through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) are likely to have returned to work, according to the latest research from the Resolution Foundation.

The financial support available to employers from the CJRS began to taper down on 1 August, with the scheme gradually reducing until it closes on 31 October.

According to official figures from HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), 9.5 million people have been furloughed at some point since the CJRS was introduced in March.

However, the Resolution Foundation estimates that less than half of those 9.5 million workers remain on furlough leave now, with the analysis suggesting that the number of people furloughed at any one time peaked at 8 million in April.

Dan Tomlinson, Senior Economist at the Resolution Foundation, said: “The Job Retention Scheme has supported around a third of the private sector workforce at some point since lockdown began, protecting family incomes and preventing catastrophic levels of unemployment.

“But with the number of furloughed workers having peaked in late April, it is misleading to say that nine million workers are currently furloughed.

“Over half of these workers have now returned to work as lockdown restrictions have eased. The true figure is below 4.5 million.”

Changes to the furlough scheme

The CJRS is set to phase out in the coming months, with employers now having to make employers’ National Insurance (NI) and pension contributions for furloughed employees.

From 1 September, employees will have to start contributing to the wages of any furloughed employees, with the grant accounting for 70 per cent of their usual wages, and employers making up the difference.

On 1 October, the grant reduces to 60 per cent, with employers contributing 20 per cent until the scheme ends at the end of October.

At AGS HR, we can advise on all aspects of the challenges you may face, such as returning to work, reviewing employment contracts and redundancy considerations, with easy to use documents and practical advice.

For help and advice, contact our expert team at AGS HR Solutions today to discuss your requirements.