Over half of furloughed UK staff back at work – think tank

The Resolution Foundation estimated that the number of furloughed UK workers is ‘certainly below 4.5 million’ and possibly as low as 3 million. (AP)
Short Url
Updated 01 August 2020

Over half of furloughed UK staff back at work – think tank

  • Furlough scheme started alongside the coronavirus lockdown in March
  • Resolution Foundation estimates the number of furloughed workers is ‘certainly below 4.5 million’

LONDON: More than half of the roughly 9 million British employees who were put on furlough during the coronavirus lockdown have already returned to work, the Resolution Foundation think tank estimated on Saturday.
Britain’s finance ministry has said furlough payments totaling $42 billion so far have been made in respect of a cumulative 9.5 million jobs, but does not publish figures on the current number of furloughed workers.
Based on an analysis of surveys of businesses and households from the Office for National Statistics, the Resolution Foundation estimated that the number of furloughed workers is “certainly below 4.5 million” and possibly as low as 3 million.
The furlough scheme started alongside the lockdown in March, and is due to end in October, after which many economists fear unemployment could rise sharply, surpassing the peak seen after the financial crisis.
Official data on Thursday showed big differences between sectors, with more than 90 percent of information technology and sewerage workers not furloughed, but almost half of staff in the hospitality, arts and leisure sectors still needing help.
“These workers face a heightened risk of unemployment as the Job Retention Scheme starts to be phased out,” Resolution Foundation economist Dan Tomlinson said.
From this month, employers must begin to contribute to the cost of paying furloughed workers, who receive 80 percent of their normal salary.
Last week, Britain’s National Institute of Economic and Social Research and the opposition Labour Party called for the program to be extended until the middle of next year.
But finance minister Rishi Sunak has repeatedly rejected calls for an extension, and his deputy Steve Barclay said workers’ skills were likely to degrade if they spent more than eight months off work, waiting for a job that might not return.
Employers will receive $1,300 for each furloughed worker they take back and keep employed until the end of January.


Proposals to cut expats in Kuwait reviewed by National Assembly committee

Updated 10 August 2020

Proposals to cut expats in Kuwait reviewed by National Assembly committee

  • One of the seven plans submitted by members of parliament calls to set a percentage for each migrant community in the country
  • The Kuwaiti government’s plan calls to replace about 160,000 expat working in the public sector with nationals

DUBAI: Thousands of expats in Kuwait are expected to leave the country as talks over the decision have started between the government and the National Assembly human resources committee.
The government and parliamentary proposals are being reviewed by the committee, national daily Kuwait Times reported.
One of the seven plans submitted by members of parliament calls to set a percentage for each migrant community in the country.
The Kuwaiti government’s plan also calls to replace about 160,000 expat working in the public sector with nationals, but did not provide a timeframe.
The proposal also suggests that about 370,000 expats who show a “negative impact” on the country or are illegal residents can be dismissed by taking short-term measures.
The government added in its plan that “marginal” workers should be reduced by 25 percent. It also expects to lower temporary employment contracts by 30 percent in government jobs.
The government also discussed the massive increase in the expat population in the country between 2005 and 2019, as it went up to 4.42 million. It added that during this time, the citizens’ population increased from 860,000 to 1.335 million.