Women aged 17 most likely to be furloughed


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Seventeen-year-old women were most likely to be furloughed by their employers than any other employee, the latest Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme figures from HM Revenue & Customs have revealed.

Some 61% of employments with a female employee aged 17 had been furloughed up until 30 June, while employers placed 58% of male 17-year-olds on furlough.

Employments with male employees aged 41 to 49 were least likely to be furloughed (28%). For females, employments where the staff were aged 41 to 57 were the least likely to be furloughed (23%).

HMRC said an additional 678,000 people were furloughed in the month to 30 June 2020, taking the overall figure to 9.4 million.

Some 1.14 employers had made at least one claim under the CJRS, up 75,000 from the end of May. A total of £26.5 billion in wage subsidies had been claimed by employers.

Small and micro-sized organisations were more likely to use the scheme than medium or large firms. Some 57% of employments at organisations with five to nine staff had been furloughed, compared with 19% at firms with 250 or more on their payrolls.

Almost nine in 10 (87%) organisations in the food services sector had furloughed at least some employees, with 73% of the sector’s workforce furloughed. This sector alone claimed more than £4.1bn through the scheme.

Wholesale and retail firms claimed £5.3bn and furloughed 40% of their staff, while the arts, entertainment, recreation and other services sector claimed £1.1bn and furloughed 66% of employees.

London had the most furloughed employees at 1.29 million, followed by the South East (1.21 million) and the North West (974,500).

As the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is wound down, many staff  are beginning to return to work on a part-time basis under the “flexible furlough” scheme.

From next month the government will reduce the level of wage subsidy offered to employers. Organisations will pick up the bill for national insurance and pension contributions in August, and in September and October the government’s wage contribution will fall to 70% and 60% respectively.

Some employers, including ASOS and Primark, have indicated that they will pay back the furlough money they received or have turned down the job retention bonus being offered by the government.

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