Although earlier in the year, media coverage suggested mass redundancies were to follow the end of the furlough scheme (which closed at the end of September this year), fortunately this doesn’t seem to have materialised.
In the penultimate month of the scheme, August of this year, almost 1,300,000 workers were still on the scheme. Although this number seems high, the scheme was it an 85% reduction of it’s peak amount.
According to recent government statistics, collective redundancies were actually at a seven-year low this August. Whilst this figure is comforting, it is silent on individual redundancies, which involve 19 or less employees.
For employees who had furloughed large numbers of workers, it’s reported that many employees who were furloughed are now continuing in their employment; resulting in fewer people out of work than was first anticipated, young people in particular show decreased unemployment statistics. However, with the impact of Brexit hindering worker supply, between July and September this year vacancies are at a 20 year high with 3.7 job vacancies for every 100 jobs.
We’ve already seen the impact of this with unusually high wages being offered for work such as lorry driving and warehouse work. Moreover, employers must now balance offering a higher wage against the needs of business, and perhaps offer alternative such as parental leave, buy and sell holiday, as More sustainable, affordable alternatives.