More than one million workers and over 400,000 employers were still supported by the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) in its last month of operation, the latest figures reveal.
The report, published by HM Treasury, suggests that businesses need continued support as they enter into the recovery phase of the pandemic.
According to the data, the Government was still paying the wages of 1.14 million employees in September 2021 – the last month the furlough scheme was in operation. Around half of these workers were on flexible hours, meaning some had returned to the workplace part-time.
The report also reveals that just 210,000 employees voluntarily left the scheme in September, suggesting that hundreds of thousands of workers are now facing uncertainty over their future.
For businesses, the end of the scheme may now mean reducing their workforce through redundancies.
Encouragingly, however, the latest figures show that redundancy notifications “remained low” throughout September, while unemployment numbers fell and payroll figures grew for the eighth consecutive month.
Commenting on the report, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “Our unprecedented furlough scheme helped people when they needed it most.
“We are now investing billions building a stronger economy of higher wages, higher skills and rising productivity – and our Plan for Jobs will continue to deliver the opportunities people need to get ahead.”
The latest HMRC statistics on the CJRS and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme can be found here.