ALMOST a million workers went back to work part-time in July as the Government’s flexible furlough scheme kicked in.
One in five of all furloughed workers took advantage, which saw the Government paying 80 per cent of their wages for the hours not worked.
Firms were allowed to bring their staff back part-time from July for however many days a week they needed.
The scheme will run until the end of October, but firms must now pay a contribution towards the cost of covering furloughed workers’ wages.
Treasury figures also revealed that the number of workers who were furloughed in retail has halved – from 1.85 million at the start of the pandemic to 789,000.
Rishi Sunak said the figures laid bare the success of the furlough scheme.
He said: “That so many businesses have been able to get back to trading, and bring their staff back to the workplace is a testament to the impact the scheme has had.”
Meanwhile, high streets across England are set to benefit from a £95 million government-funded scheme to help them recover from declining footfall and the impact of Covid-19.
The high streets heritage action zone (HSHAZ) programme, delivered by Historic England, will see disused and dilapidated buildings restored into new homes, shops, workplaces and community spaces in 68 high streets across the country.
Historic England said up to 48% of the nation’s retail stock was built before 1919 and the loss of business occupiers is placing these buildings at risk while “undermining the character, local identity and viability of the high street”.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “High streets sit at the heart of our communities and every part of the country deserves to have one they can be proud of.
“This fund will help breathe new life into high streets in towns and cities across the country – restoring them to their full glory so that they are beautiful places for people to shop, work and enjoy.”
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