Full extent of furlough UK revealed: One in four workers were on furlough at some point during Covid-19 crisis, staff with no education above GCSE level were more likely to have been affected and half spent more than three months at home
- The Government’s pandemic furlough scheme finally came to an end yesterday
- The £70billion scheme protected an estimated 11.6million jobs across the UK
- New ONS data showed one in four UK workers was on furlough at some point
- Numbers showed half of those furloughed spent more than three months off
The massive scale of the coronavirus furlough scheme was laid bare today as official statistics showed one in four UK workers were kept afloat by handouts from the Government.
A quarter of the nation’s workforce were on furlough at some point during the pandemic, according to numbers published this morning by the Office for National Statistics.
Half of the people who were on the scheme spent more than three months in total off work as the Covid-19 crisis wreaked havoc with businesses.
Meanwhile, the numbers revealed that employees with no education above GCSE level were more likely to have been furloughed than their counterparts with university degrees.
The furlough initiative was finally brought to a close yesterday amid fears the removal of the wage support will lead to a wave of job losses.
It is estimated that the £70billion programme helped to protect 11.6million jobs over the past 18 months.
Half of the people who were on furlough spent more than three months in total off work as the Covid-19 crisis wreaked havoc with businesses
A quarter of the nation’s workforce were on furlough at some point during the pandemic, according to numbers published this morning by the Office for National Statistics
ONS data showed that one in four people who were employees during the coronavirus pandemic had been on furlough at some point between March 2020 and June 2021.
Younger and older workers were more likely to have been on furlough than their middle-aged counterparts.
Some 30 per cent of workers under the age of 24 and a similar proportion of those over the age of 65 were on furlough compared to 23 per cent of workers aged 35 to 44 years.
Half of the overall number of people furloughed spent more than three months in total on the scheme, with 24 per cent spending six months or longer at home.
ONS numbers showed that 54 per cent of women were furloughed for more than three months, compared to 45 per cent of men.
The data revealed there was a significant education divide when it came to who was being furloughed.
The ONS said: ‘Employees during the pandemic with a degree or equivalent qualification were 8.9 percentage points less likely to be furloughed, when compared with those whose highest qualifications were GCSEs.
‘This may reflect more specific job responsibilities or levels of experience across people with similar jobs, which meant certain people were less likely to go on furlough.’
The ONS found that eight per cent of people who had been furloughed were no longer employed in the three months to June this year.
It was broadly the same picture for employees who had not been furloughed (seven per cent).
The numbers published by the ONS cover the period between March 2020 and June 2021.
Analysis of the situation at the point when the furlough scheme ended is expected to be published by the organisation in the coming months.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said yesterday that he was ‘proud’ of what furlough had achieved and that the Government is ‘not done’ supporting people.
He said: ‘I’m so proud of what [furlough] has achieved. It has protected millions of people’s livelihoods at a difficult time.
The numbers revealed that employees with no education above GCSE level were more likely to have been furloughed than their counterparts with university degrees
The numbers also showed that people in corporate management or director roles were less likely to have been furloughed
‘But I’m also really proud of everyone who has shown such resilience over the last year-and-a-half to get through this. Everyone is now back at work, and that’s a fantastic thing.
‘But I also want people to know that we’re not done supporting people even though the furlough scheme ends today.
‘We have a plan for jobs that is focused on giving people the skills and the opportunities they need to find fantastic work and that’s what we’re now focused on delivering.’
An estimated one million workers were still receiving support through the furlough scheme when it ended yesterday.
Chief Secretary to the Treasury Simon Clarke admitted that ‘there will be some job losses’ now that the programme has closed.
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