‘Downward trend’ in the number of East Riding workers on furlough scheme
Around 8,100 East Riding workers are currently on furlough and 7,750 are receiving unemployment benefits as the Government coronavirus jobs scheme begins to wind down.
East Riding Council’s Environment and Regeneration Overview and Scrutiny Sub-Committee heard 8,100 people were also in receipt of self employment support as of the end of May.
Council Planning and Economic Regeneration Director Alan Menzies told councillors there was a “downward trend” in the amount of workers on furlough ahead of its end on Thursday, September 30.
But the director added the requirement for workers to self-isolate could cause problems for businesses, particularly once coronavirus restrictions are lifted on Monday, July 19.
He also told the committee some East Riding hospitality businesses had been forced to close entirely following coronavirus outbreaks among staff.
Furlough began winding down on Thursday, July 1 when the amount of workers’ salaries covered by government fell from 80 to 70 per cent.
The proportion of salaries paid by government is set to drop to 60 per cent from August before the end of the programme, otherwise known as the Job Retention Scheme.
The scheme was initially supposed to end on Friday, April 30 but Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced it would be extended in his March budget.
Mr Menzies told the East Riding committee support for businesses during coronavirus remained and had been available from “day one” of the pandemic.
He added a total of £3,9m had been paid to shops and others businesses in East Riding villages and towns under the council’s Love Your High Street Fund.
Councillors heard a total of 195 applications were made for funding as of Thursday, June 24, with the council paying £717,500 and £3.1m coming from the private sector.
Mr Menzies said: “We’re fairly confident that there will be a significant reduction in furlough, particularly in relation to tourism and hospitality economic activity during the summer.
“But we anticipate there will be issues around self-isolation, especially after Monday, July 19.
“There will be occasions where small businesses can no longer function, some hospitality businesses that have reopened have had to close because of coronavirus outbreaks.
“Our team of business advisors has been working with them right the way through from March 2020.”