The latest figures on the government’s job retention scheme show that some 1.1m businesses have now furloughed at least some of their employees.
Data on the Job Retention Scheme show that in England, 6.5m jobs had been furloughed by May 31, dominated by London and the South East, at more than one million each.
Around 628,000 workers have been furloughed in Scotland, 317,000 in Wales, and 212,000 in Northern Ireland, the figures show.
Around 60 per cent of the companies who have furloughed at least one worker have fewer than five employees. These firms have claimed a total of £2bn for the close to one million employees they have furloughed.
Number of furloughed staff in England alone
At the other end of the spectrum, around 6,300 companies with more than 250 staff have furloughed 2.5m people.
These bigger businesses have claimed a total of £4.9bn to cover the salaries of their staff. Wholesale and retail businesses were the worst hit, claiming £3.3bn for 1.6m workers.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: ‘Our unprecedented coronavirus support schemes are protecting millions of vital jobs and businesses across the whole of the United Kingdom – and will help ensure we recover from this outbreak as swiftly as possible,
‘We have extended both schemes so they will continue to provide measured support across the UK as we start to reopen the economy.’
The government is soon set to ease the support for businesses using the furlough scheme to keep their employees on the books.
From August, businesses will be expected to contribute some of the 80 per cent of their employees’ salaries that the government is currently paying in a tapered end to the scheme.
The data comes two days after it was revealed that more than a million businesses have asked for a loan under three government-backed Covid-19 support schemes.
Around £35bn in government-backed loans has been lent under the coronavirus business interruption loan scheme (CBILS), its counterpart for larger businesses, called CLBILS, and the Bounce Back Loan Scheme.
- Want breaking news sent direct to your phone? Join our WhatsApp group. It is broadcast only, no chit chat, and delivers Car Dealer headlines to you as and when they happen. Send us a message here and ask to join, and we’ll send you a link.
- Download the latest digital edition of Car Dealer Magazine Issue 147 for free here.