Construction furlough total rises above 750,000 staff

Construction companies furloughed just over three-quarters of a million staff during the coronavirus outbreak from March to the end of June.

The number accounts for 59% of eligible staff with 75% of eligible firms using the coronavirus job retention scheme at some point in the last five months.

New figures from HM Revenu and Customs reveal that £2.6bn was paid out to 171,400 firms making claims for support for staff.

From now on the number of staff on furlough is expected to diminish sharply as contractors bring staff back into work or opt for redundancies to slim down for predicted lower levels of activity.

New June figures showing the level of support for the self-employed are due out shortly.

But last estimate for pay-outs from March to the end of May reveal 801,000 self-employed construction workers received pay-outs from the self-employment income support scheme, totalling over £2.8bn.

This takes total Government support for the construction workforce so far to over £5.4bn.

For business claims for furloughed staff alone, construction ranked fourth behind retail (£5.2bn), hospitality and food (£4.1bn) manufacturing (£3.3bn).

Across the UK, Scotland had the highest percentage take-up for support among staff, while in England the greatest proportion of take-up was in the south west with 62% of total eligible staff were placed on the coronavirus job protection scheme.

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