When the pandemic struck more than a year and a half ago, workers who were previously comfortable in their jobs and felt that their positions were secure, learned the hard way that life has many unexpected twists and turns to offer. Within weeks, many of these workers were furloughed due to the pandemic and the lockdown restrictions. If their jobs were ‘essential’, chances are, they would either be furloughed or allowed to work from home. Those allowed to work from home still faced many hurdles, but they, at least, still had a job and didn’t need to worry about a loss of income.
However, as we began to get the pandemic under control and lockdown restrictions were eased by the UK government, people began venturing out of their homes and many businesses and organisations reopened. With that, workers were called back to work and we began the long, slow process of rebuilding both our morale and the economy.
By The Numbers
Today, the number of people on furlough has fallen to the lowest level since the start of the pandemic. This is due, in part, to increased economic growth here in the UK and abroad and the fact that consumer confidence is on the mend as well. According to HM Treasury:
- ‘More than 340,000 people have moved off furlough across the UK in July alone.
- Over 1.6 million people were on furlough as of 31 July, down from almost two million on 30 June.
- 800,000 people have claimed the latest self-employment scheme grant.
- 121,600 people between the ages of 18-34 came off the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) during the months of June and July.’
These figures can be attributed to the success of the government’s Plan for Jobs as it was created to get more people back to work sooner after the pandemic has subsided.
The Hardest Hit Industries
Among the sectors affected by the furlough, the arts, entertainment and recreation sector, accommodation, and food service industries were among the hardest hit. Being ‘non-essential’, these employees have remained on furlough longer than workers in other industries and this is partially due to the fact that businesses within these sectors are finding it more difficult to rebuild after being shut down for so long.
A recent study based on the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme suggests a consistent decline in need for the scheme since it was introduced. Five grants were included in the scheme and, across these, 9.9 million claims have been made and more than £27 billion has been claimed by almost three million people.
While many people were against furloughs, reports show that the furlough scheme was incredibly successful, protecting almost 12 million jobs over the course of 18 months. As the furlough scheme comes to an end, the unemployment rate is much better than originally predicted and we are looking at nearly 2 million fewer people now expected to be out of work.
To learn more about the future of work and companies needing to adapt and require a flexible payroll solution, contact mywage today and speak with a salesforce expert who can answer any questions you might have.
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