Fifers on furlough drops as employers contribute for first time under scheme

Hundreds more workers in Fife came off furlough in July – the first month employers had to make a contribution to salaries under the scheme, figures reveal.

Friday, 10th September 2021, 6:09 pm

The latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs show 6,800 jobs held by workers living in the region were furloughed as of July 31 – 4% of all that were eligible.

That was 1,300 fewer than the 8,100 furloughed at the end of June.

It was also down by more than two-thirds compared to the 22,600 on the scheme during the 2021 peak in February.

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The numbers on furlough has fallen further

An age breakdown across local authority areas has also been published for the first time.

In Fife, people aged under 25 made up the highest proportion with 820 (12%) on the scheme.

People aged 65 and over accounted for the smallest proportion – 400 (6%).

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July was the first month that employers had to pay 10% of the salaries of their furloughed workers, giving them an incentive to bring staff back, or end their employment.

Employer contributions rose to 20% in August and September.

The Resolution Foundation said a slowing down in the number of employees coming off the scheme in July meant there was a risk of a fresh rise in unemployment in the autumn.

Charlie McCurdy, economist at the think tank, said: "Up to a million employees could still be on furlough when the scheme closes at the end of this month.

“While we expect most of these staff to return to their previous roles, a significant number will not."

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