Furlough finally ends

Published:  30 September, 2021

Garages and other businesses still using the furlough scheme will need to take full responsibility for paying staff again going forward, as the scheme ends today (Thursday 30 September).

The Coronavirus Job Retention scheme had been winding down over recent months, with employers asked to pay 10% towards staff wages in July, and then 20% in August and September up to an upper limit of £2,500 per month. Employers were also paying pension and National Insurance contributions as part of the arrangement.

Flexible furlough allowed employers to run staff on up to 50% of their hours, with those employees receiving full pay for the hours worked, and the 80% for the remaining time.

Any staff that were still on furlough will need to be back at work full time and on their full pay.

Most garages are busy as a result of the yearly MOT pattern being shifted by 2020’s exemption, with most MOTs now occurring at the end the year. With garages fully booked, the direct impact on the aftermarket will be limited, and ironically overall job vacancies are at an all-time high. However, unemployment is still expected to rise as a result of the scheme being brought to a close. City A.M reported today that a study from Renovo had found that 69% of UK employers across the board expect redundancies to take place. 46% anticipate this taking place within six months. 23% expect this to take up to a year. This could affect garage customers further down the line.

Bloomberg has reported that Chancellor Rishi Sunak may be about to launch a new programme to help poorer households cope with the cost of living over the winter. This would see around £500 million dispersed via local authorities.

While it has finally closed, the scheme was extended four times beyond its original mid-2020 end-date.

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