This week employers who are claiming furlough pay for their workers now will have to pay 20% towards the subsidised wages as the Job Retention Scheme continues to gradually wind down.
Figures published in July show the fewest number of people on furlough since the scheme launched in March 2020, down from a peak of nearly nine million at the height of the pandemic in May last year.
This latest change in the scheme will now test business confidence and resilience and show just how much cash they have been able to recover, many expect levels of unemployment to spike as a result of the changes.
A survey carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce showed nearly 1 in 5 companies are considering staff redundancies as a result of this downgrading of furlough support. Government must ensure there is sufficient support available for those who do lose their job otherwise there could be a surge in levels of unemployment which would be disastrous to the economic recovery effort.
Possible areas to consider for government to consider combatting high levels of unemployment include an extension of the Kickstart scheme into 2022 and rapid retraining opportunities. This will ensure those who do enter the labour market get back into work as quickly as possible.
For more information on the support and guidance available please visit our Coronavirus Business Support Hub here hwchamber.co.uk/support/advice/coronavirus-information.