The UK is struggling with nearly a quarter of employees in Britain who have been furloughed in the past fortnight amid the Covid-19 pandemic. The coronavirus pandemic is not just dramatically affecting people’s health, but also increasingly impacting their jobs as the virus jolted the global economy as well.
HM Revenue and Customs information said a sum of 6.3m employees had been temporarily laid off by 800,000 companies, with claims adding up to £8bn by 3 May. The data released by HMRC indicated that organizations had pounced to take advantage of the job subsidy scheme following its launch on 20 April.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak guaranteed in light of the figures that there would be no “cliff-edge” end to back the scheme and also recognizing that the present amount of expenditure won’t be lasting in the long run.
Britain is under constant fear that the decision to shut down the economy for a long would lead to a massive surge in unemployment.
A week ago, the Office for Budget Responsibility assessed the initial three months of the administration’s furlough scheme to have a cost (net of annual duty to HMRC) of £39bn, with a further £10bn for self-employed workers.
Within a couple of days, Rishi will be announcing a coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS), under which workers that are furloughed will receive 80% of their wages by the legislature up to a roof of £2,500 every month.
The CEO of the Resolution Foundation research organization Torsten Bell expressed that 6.3m employees furloughed shows a startling effect of lockdown on Britain’s economy. Regardless of mass furloughing, the unemployment rate is still rising, with more than 2,000,000 applied for unemployment benefits.