Almost 260k hospitality workers on furlough at end of July

By Nikkie Thatcher contact

- Last updated on GMT

Furlough closing: the scheme is coming to an end on 30 September 2021 (image: Getty/Jessica Girvan)
Furlough closing: the scheme is coming to an end on 30 September 2021 (image: Getty/Jessica Girvan)

Related tags: Legislation, Recruitment, Hmrc, Government

The hospitality sector has seen the biggest drop in workers on furlough this summer, but the trade still has more than a quarter of a million jobs on the scheme, new official figures have found.

The sector, alongside the arts, entertainment and recreation industries, had the highest take-up rate of all the sectors with 15% of employments eligible for furlough on the scheme at 31 July 2021, according to data from HMRC.

The hospitality trade saw the largest reduction in the number of employments on furlough between 30 June and 31 July.

There were 259,100 employments on furlough in the sector at 31 July 2021 – a reduction of 96,700 from 355,800 at 30 June 2021.

Official numbers

At the end of June, 19% of employees in the food service and accommodation sector were on furlough, according to HMRC figures.

This was down by almost 292,000 from 629,700 when compared with the take up rate of employments at the end of May - meaning the sector had the largest reduction of workers on furlough between 31 May and 30 June.

The data was then broken down into more detailed segments and of this, the beverage serving activities group saw the largest reduction in jobs on furlough in the same period – a drop of 42,600.

It also looked at regions and found at 31 Jul, the accommodation and food services sector and wholesale and retail sectors had the largest number of employments on furlough across most countries and regions.

Detailed data

However, in the north east and West Midlands, the manufacturing sector had the largest number of employments on furlough.

In London, one in five of those on furlough were in the accommodation and food services sector on 30 June 2021. Provisional estimates showed this proportion reduced slightly in July.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, known as furlough, will be closing at on 30 September. Chancellor Rishi Sunak first announced the scheme as the coronavirus pandemic hit in March 2020.

The begin with, it covered 80% of an employees wage for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.

It then went through a number of extensions and various changes where employers had to contribute national insurance and pension contributions then 20% of wages last month (August) and this month (September).

Related topics: Legislation

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