The Job Retention Scheme, also known as the Furlough Scheme was announced over a year ago on March 20th 2020 and launched a month later. The latest figures released this week show statistics for the usage of the scheme up to the end of April 2021.
Whilst the data is not fully complete as employers can submit very late claims as long as there is a reasonable excuse, the figures are a good estimate of how the scheme has been utilised thus far.
Figures show that 3.4 million jobs remain on furlough, down from a peak in January 2021 of 5.1 million. A total of 11.5 million jobs were furloughed at various points during the course of the scheme.
The top trade sectors utilising the job retention scheme by take-up rate:
- Beverage serving activities (70%)
- Hotels and similar accommodation (65%)
- Passenger air transport (55%)
- Photographic activities (51%)
- Travel agency and tour operator activities (49%)
- Amusement and recreation activities (46%)
- Sports activities (45%)
- Creative, arts and entertainment activities (44%)
- Renting and leasing of personal and household goods (43%)
- Manufacture of wearing apparel (41%)
The drop in usage of furlough was most pronounced in the 'retail sale of other goods in specialised stores' sector (109,100 drop) followed by 'beverage serving activities' (72,500 drop).
Self-employed individuals who pass eligibility checks have access to the 'SEISS' income support scheme as an alternative. The latest figures show 2.8 million people have accessed at least one of the four grants provided so far. In total the scheme has paid out over £24 billion in support grants.