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3 August, 2020 Open access

Workers who have been furloughed are three times more likely to have missed bill payments

With just a couple of months until the CJRS comes to an end, there is real concern that the gap between furloghed workers and those working as normal could widen even further, says Which?

Workers who have been furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) are three times more likely to have missed bill payments in the last month, according to new research from Which?

In its latest consumer insight survey, Which? found that 13 per cent of workers who’d been furloughed, put on enforced leave or had their working hours cut had defaulted on a bill, compared to just 4 per cent of those whose work had been unaffected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and that, overall, 7 per cent of furloughed workers had missed a bill payment, 6 per cent had missed a loan or credit card payment, and 5 per cent had defaulted on their mortgage or rent.

In addition Which? found that 60 per cent of furloughed workers had made changes to their spending patterns in the last month, with 34 per cent cutting back on essential spending, 31 per cent taking money from their savings, and 14 per cent using an overdraft - all figures that were higher across the board than those in the ‘working as usual’ group of respondents.

With the government intending to bring the furlough scheme to an end in October 2020, Richard Piggin, Head of External Affairs and Campaigns at Which?, said today -

'Despite extensive action being taken by the government ... it’s very worrying that people currently on the furlough scheme have reported experiencing much higher levels of financial difficulty than those who are working as normal.

With just a couple of months until the scheme comes to an end, there is real concern that this gap could widen even further.'

For more information see Furloughed workers three times more likely to have missed bill payments from which.co.uk