After a year and a half, the furlough scheme (officially the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme) is set to end on 30 September 2021.
Government data shows that, at its peak almost 9 million people have been supported by the scheme. But while most have been moved off the scheme, at the end of July a further 1.6 million remain on furlough or flexible furlough. Employers will therefore need to make decisions about managing their return to work when the scheme ends (potentially covering the full cost of their employment for the first time in 18 months), and, in particular, will need to decide whether to take back their furloughed workers or make them redundant. For those who find themselves no longer in work, who they are, what education and skills they have, what stage they are at in their careers and the buoyancy of the labour market in the area where they live or work will all be crucial in determining their ability to gain suitable employment.
At this IFS briefing we look at the latest vacancies data and recent labour market trends to identify the types of workers who might find difficulty in finding suitable employment once the furlough scheme ends, and we will discuss the challenges facing the labour market in the coming months. We draw on a wealth of IFS research to do this, including analysis for the IFS Green Budget, which has been produced with funding from the Nuffield Foundation and in association with Citi.
- Jonathan Cribb (IFS)
- Xiaowei Xu (IFS)