More than half of the roughly 9 million British employees who were put on furlough during the coronavirus lockdown have already returned to work, the Resolution Foundation think tank estimated on Saturday.
Britain’s finance ministry has said furlough payments totaling 32 billion pounds ($42 billion) so far have been made in respect of a cumulative 9.5 million jobs, but does not publish figures on the current number of furloughed workers.
Official data on Thursday showed big differences between sectors, with more than 90 percent of information technology and sewerage workers not furloughed, but almost half of staff in the hospitality, arts and leisure sectors still needing help.
“These workers face a heightened risk of unemployment as the Job Retention Scheme starts to be phased out,” Resolution Foundation economist Dan Tomlinson said.
From this month, employers must begin to contribute to the cost of paying furloughed workers, who receive 80 percent of their normal salary.