According to the latest data released from HMRC, the total number of construction workers still furloughed at the end of August accounts for nearly a sixth of the entire workforce.
A GOV.UK press release states that of 31 August there were 185,700 construction industry employees still on the government’s job retention scheme, which equates to 14 per cent of the industry.
However, the figure is still lower than it was at the end of July when 290,800 workers were furloughed, and the peak of 723,600 in mid-April.
Since April, the decline in the number of construction’s furloughed workers, as a proportion, has been the third-largest drop across all sectors, only beaten by the energy production and supply, and the mining and quarrying sectors, which also had fewer people on the scheme in total.
The data from HMRC revealed that up until 31 August, there were a total of 72,100 employers who had signed up to the job retention scheme, which is approximately 31 per cent of the entire construction sector, and had claimed £3.5 billion from the scheme’s total of £39 billion paid out across all sectors.
It is expected that the figures for September and October continue the trend as the levels of total support available for each furloughed employee decreases. From 1 October, furloughed employees will only receive 60 per cent of the usual wage.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced on 22 October that there will be support provided for businesses after the job retention scheme ends with a revised job support scheme.
This new package, which comes into effect on 1 November, will support employees who are working at least 20 per cent of their usual hours, with employers required to contribute 5 per cent of pay for any hours not worked by employees.
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