The furlough scheme wind down: what now?!

over 2 years ago Carys Pegrum
​The Job Retention Scheme - as it’s officially known, gave employers the option the receive funds from the government to pay their employers during lockdown. Either due to having reduced income themselves as a business, or to help pay their workers for hours they’ve not worked.

When does furlough end?
As lockdown restrictions have eased, the government has reduced the per cent of wages paid from 80% to 60%. And, on the 30th September 2021 – the furlough scheme will end completely.

Which means that from the 1st October this year, all employers will be responsible for paying wages for any hours not worked.

This leaves many businesses unable to afford wages and being forced to make redundancies.

If your employer has made this decision, they should have discussed this with you. Likewise, you should have been given notice if you are being called back into work.

If you haven’t heard from your employer, you should contact them as soon as possible.
Worst affected
Furlough’s end comes as Universal Credit decreases by £20 per week – a temporary uplift which was introduced during the pandemic. It is estimated that over 2 million people will be affected by the two schemes ending.

Figures from HMRC show:
• 5.1m jobs were furloughed in the UK during winter lockdown
• Which reduced to 1.6m in July 2021
• Also during July, 5% of the UK workforce were receiving emergency wage top up
• Over 50% of staff in passenger air transport were away from their jobs in July, half of travel agents and a quarter of employers on the entertainment sector
And more recently, the travel association ABTA has warned that 69% of employees within the industry will be made redundant after the 30th September.
Support is available

For those who are facing redundancy, there is support available. But you should apply straight away as the process can take weeks. Jobseekers Allowance is available plus other schemes which you may be entitled to. A good place to receive guidance from is the Citizens Advice Bureau.

What next?
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has advised that the government is “doubling down” on plans to support job creation and training as the furlough scheme comes to an end this month.

“It’s fantastic to see furlough levels at their lowest since the start of the pandemic with young people in particular getting back to work and kickstarting their careers as the UK gets back to business.”

Omega is working closely with job seekers who are looking to secure a position within a number of different sectors including manufacturing, automotive, power energy renewables, logistics and food and FMCG. See all of the jobs available now.

Air transport and travel has been one of the worst hit industries and Omega is proud to have a team of specialists recruiting specifically for aerospace and defence jobs.
If you are an employer with a staff requirement or a job seeker looking to secure your next position, please get in touch with the award-winning team at Omega today.