Thursday 15 October 2020 10:18 am

Nine per cent of employees on furlough as scheme nears end

Just over nine per cent of Britain’s workforce remain on furlough with less than a month to go before the scheme is replaced by less generous job support measures, a survey showed. 

Some 9.1 per cent of workers were furloughed during the two weeks to 4 October, according to a survey of businesses by the Office for National Statistics.

The figure represents only a marginal drop compared to the previous two weeks. 

The furlough scheme will come to an end on 31 October, when it will be replaced by the less generous wage subsidy scheme, which will cover up to two thirds of employees’ wages at businesses that have to close due to coronavirus restrictions. 

Nearly half of businesses reported lower than normal turnover for the time of year, further ONS statistics on the economic impact of Covid-19 showed. 

Before the Open newsletter: Start your day with the City View podcast and key market data

Some 48 per cent of firms surveyed said turnover was below expectations, with nine per cent reporting turnover dropping more than half.  

In the three months to September, however, around 23,000 more businesses reported increasing turnover than decreasing turnover compared to the previous quarter, the ONS said. 

The newly-released statistics also showed that the proportion of adults travelling to work last week hit 65 per cent – the highest level since the ONS started recording the data earlier this year. 

This comes after TfL figures released yesterday showed more Tube journeys were made last week than at any point since lockdown measures were introduced in March. 

The number of journeys taken by Tube now stands at just over a third of pre-Covid levels, the data showed.