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29 July, 2021 Open access

Number of individuals on furlough drops below two million for first time since CJRS introduced

HMRC reports fourth consecutive monthly decrease after peaks of 8.9 million in May 2020 and 5.1 million in January 2021

The number of individuals on furlough has dropped below 2 million for the first time since the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) was introduced on 20 March 2020.

In monthly statistics for the CJRS, Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) highlights that there were 540,000 employers with 1.9 million staff on furlough on 30 June 2021, a decrease of 590,000 from 31 May when there were 2.4 million employments on furlough.

Continuing a trend of decreasing furlough rates since March 2021, HMRC says the levels of furlough seen in these figures reflect the easing of restrictions on business activity seen throughout the UK in recent months, and compares favourably to previous peaks in furlough numbers of 8.9 million on 8 May 2020 and 5.1 million on 19 January 2021.

In addition, HMRC provides further details of the numbers of individuals on full or partial furlough as at 30 June 2021 (and over the previous 12 months) -

Total employments on full and flexible furlough: July 2020 to June 2021

NB - HMRC advises that the figures for June 2021 are provisional as they are based on claims received to the deadline of 14 July 2021. In some circumstances, late claims can be made with a reasonable excuse and in agreement with HMRC, and claims could also be amended until 28 July 2021.

For more information, see Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme statistics:29 July 2021 and Numbers on furlough fall to lowest level since start of pandemic from gov.uk