What happened when the furlough scheme ended?

25 October, 2021

Around one million workers were thought to be on furlough when the scheme ended at the end of September.

Early data suggests that the number of job cuts following the end of the 18-month scheme were lower than expected with the number of redundancies proposed by employers in September being close to record lows.

Many businesses with high numbers of furloughed staff have reportedly brought workers back to work and unions had not heard of major redundancy processes.

There were concerns that the end of the scheme would result job cuts, however while there was a slight increase in redundancies compared to August, this was far below the levels seen last summer, and among the lowest numbers seen in data which stretches back to 2006.

It was estimated that around 1M people were on furlough by the time the scheme ended, with around half of these numbers working part-time and partly furloughed.

Many of the big users for the furlough scheme were airlines and air travel businesses; British Airways was the biggest user of the scheme, and the company confirmed that they had brought all furloughed workers back by the end of September.

From the hospitality industry, JD Wetherspoon and Travelodge said they had already brought all their furloughed workers back in the summer.

However, it’s likely that some previously furloughed workers may have to work part-time rather than returning to full-time roles.

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