Redundancies falling despite the impending end of Furlough scheme

The number of collective redundancies planned by employers continues to fall, despite the imminent closure of the government’s furlough funding. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme closes on 30 September but there are currently no signs of the associated spike in redundancies that many predicted.

Only 143 employers submitted HR1 forms – the statutory documentation required when any employer plans 20 or more lay-offs – in August, up slightly on July, but less than half the monthly number recorded before the coronavirus pandemic. Those employers planned a total of 12,687 redundancies, an 11% fall on July and a fraction of the 155,576 planned job cuts in July 2020. 

Many had forecast that the winding down of the furlough scheme would lead many employers to let go of workers. A British Chambers of Commerce survey last month found that 18% of firms were likely to make staff redundant because of changes to the furlough rules. Latest data from HM Revenue and Customs showed that there were 540,000 employers with 1.9 million staff on furlough on 30 June 2021, a decrease from 31 May when there were 2.4 million employments on furlough. Since the start of the scheme a total of 11.6 million jobs have been placed on furlough, at least in part.

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