Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer.
NEARLY 25,000 workers in Northern Ireland returned to their jobs part-time in the first month flexible furlough was introduced, statistics published today show.
Flexible furlough began on July 1 to give businesses the flexibility to bring employees back part-time, whilst the government still pays 80% of wages for the hours not worked.
24,500 workers went back to offices, shops, restaurants and factories to work on a part-time basis.
And across the UK as the economy reopened, almost 30% of furloughed staff in the accommodation and food sector returned to work in July, closely followed by the retail sector.
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer said: “These figures show the success of our furlough scheme - making sure people’s jobs are there for them to return to.
“That so many businesses have been able to get back to trading, and bring their staff back to the workplace, is a testament to the impact the scheme has had.”
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis said: "I am pleased that the UK Government support provided through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) is continuing to help the people of Northern Ireland recover from the economic impact of Covid 19.
“This vital support has proven invaluable for around 330,000 NI residents who have benefited from these schemes since lockdown."
At the height of the pandemic, 1.85 million employments in the UK retail and wholesale sector were furloughed, but today’s figures show that number dropped to 789,000 by the end of July with more than a million people off furlough.
Today’s news comes as 9.6 million jobs have been supported through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
This support for furloughed workers and businesses will continue through the £9 billion Job Retention Bonus and other interventions in the Chancellor’s Plan for Jobs – including the £2bn Kickstart scheme.