The end of furlough

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has committed to a £500m job support package, although early data does suggest that fears of widespread redundancies following the end of the furlough scheme have not materialised.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) officially wound up at the end of September, with estimates suggesting that around one million workers were still on furlough when the scheme ended. However, Insolvency Service data shows that the number of redundancies proposed by employers in September was close to record lows, with a total of just 13,836 jobs at risk.

While this does suggest that significant numbers of job cuts are now likely to be avoided, the Chancellor did pledge more than £500m at the Conservative Party conference to help people back into work. Details of the package will be confirmed when Mr Sunak delivers his Spending Review on 27 October, but it will include an extension of the Kickstart Scheme as well as help to get older people back into work.

Confederation of British Industry (CBI) Director General, Tony Danker, welcomed the announcement, commenting, “The Chancellor’s emphasis on equipping young people for the world of work, from the Kickstart Scheme to new AI scholarships, as well as helping people retrain for the jobs of the future, is the right approach.”