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Number of furloughed workers hits 9.3 million

Written by: Emma Lunn
A total of 9.3 million jobs have been furloughed at a cost of £25.5bn, according to Government statistics.

As of Sunday 28 June, 9.3 million workers have been furloughed by 1.1 million employers. In total, the value of claims under the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) stands at £25.5bn.

This is up from 9.2 million furloughed workers reported a week ago with employers claiming a total of £22.9bn to cover staff wages. The Government releases weekly furlough figures every Tuesday.

First part of the furlough scheme closes today

The deadline for new applications to the scheme is today. Only employees who have been furloughed for a minimum of three weeks on or before 30 June 2020 will be eligible for the second part of the scheme which starts on 1 July (tomorrow) and runs until the end of October.

From tomorrow, businesses will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time. Tomorrow also sees the value of the furlough grant being gradually tapered, with businesses making up the shortfall.

Puja Karia, customer finance specialist at Willis Owen, says: “The furlough scheme has been hugely helpful to many employees and employers around the UK during such uncertain times, but the first leg of the scheme is coming to a close. The scheme is due to close to new entrants today and this means we could see a significant impact on jobs.”

Support for the self-employed

Meanwhile, claims made by self-employed workers who are struggling during the pandemic have remained at 2.6 million for the fourth week in a row.

However, the total value of claims made under the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme, which launched in May, has risen from £7.6bn to £7.7bn.

A “second and final” grant will be available for self-employed workers from August.

This second grant will be payable at a level equivalent to 70% of the taxpayer’s annual average profits, capped at £2,190 per month, so the maximum amount payable will be £6,570 to cover three months.

Support for businesses

Separate figures from the Treasury show that nearly £43bn has been given in loans to struggling businesses.

Under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, more than 967,000 businesses have received £29.51bn in loans. As of 28 June, 1.18 million applications for the scheme had been submitted.

As part of the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, £11.07bn  has been approved to help more than 52,000 businesses, with more than 104,000 applications have been made under the scheme.

Turning to the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the Treasury statistics revealed £2.33bn of loans have been approved for 359 businesses, with 745 applications having been received.

Stephen Pegge, managing director of commercial finance at UK Finance, says: “The fact that over one million businesses are receiving support through the coronavirus loan schemes is a credit to bank staff up and down the country who have worked tirelessly to get finance to those who need it.

“Almost £43 billion has now been approved through these schemes, in addition to the industry’s broad package of support for businesses including overdraft extensions and capital repayment deferrals.

“Businesses should remember that any lending provided under government-backed schemes is a debt not a grant, and so should carefully consider their ability to repay before applying.”

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