UK redundancies up as companies expected furlough scheme to end

UK redundancies were up from August to October as companies expected the furlough scheme to end, however, it was subsequently extended by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak.

The scheme was extended until March 2021, however, prior to that, the Job Retention Scheme was due to run until the end of October.

The JRS, which covered up to 80 per cent of the wages of furloughed workers, was then set to be replaced by the less generous Job Support Scheme meaning firms had to bring staff back on at least 33 per cent of usual hours to get support, with the government and the employer each paying a third of the wages shortfall.

Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show that the UK unemployment rate rose to 4.9 per cent in the three months to October, up from 4.8 percent a month earlier.

The ONS says: “August to October 2020 estimates show a large increase in the unemployment rate and a record number of redundancies, while the employment rate continues to fall.”

Reports on Tuesday, December 15, reveal that around 1.69 million people were unemployed in the August-October period, an increase of 241,000 on the previous quarter — and 411,000 more than a year ago.

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Written by

Matthew Roscoe

Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at