Thousands of Edinburgh people on furlough when scheme ended

Thousands of people in Edinburgh were still on furlough when the scheme closed at the end of September, figures show.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 2:00 pm
Stock photo. PA.

The latest data from HM Revenue and Customs shows 8,600 jobs held by workers living in Edinburgh were furloughed as of September 30 – 3.8 per cent of all that were eligible. That was 1,500 fewer than the number on the scheme a month previously.

And the furlough rate in Edinburgh was below the average across the UK, of four per cent.

Around 87,400 jobs have been furloughed in the area at various times since the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) began in March 2020. They are among 11.7 million jobs across the UK to have received wage support from the Government at some point, though the scheme was being used less as Covid restrictions eased.

At the end of September, the CJRS was supporting 1.1 million jobs – the lowest number since March 22 last year. From August 1, employers had to contribute 20 per cent of employees’ wages up to £625, with the Government contributing 60 per cent, up to £1,875.

Across the UK, men were slightly more likely to be on furlough than women at the end of September.

And the same was true in Edinburgh, with four per cent of eligible jobs held by men on the scheme, compared to 3.6 per cent for women.

In Edinburgh, the hospitality sector was the most reliant on the CJRS at this time, making up 27 per cent of all furloughed jobs.

Retail workers were the most likely to be furloughed nationally when the scheme ended (15 per cent of all jobs).

This was followed by those in the accommodation and food services sector (14 per cent).

Separate figures from the Office for National Statistics estimate 87 per cent of furlough workers have since returned to work, three per cent were made permanently redundant and three per cent voluntarily left their role.