Commenting on the latest statistics from HMRC on usage of the government’s Job Retention Scheme up until 31 December 2020, BCC Co-Executive Director Hannah Essex said:
“With the furlough scheme providing a lifeline to millions of employees across the economy, further action will be needed in order to avoid a damaging cliff edge for jobs and livelihoods after the scheme ends in just a couple of months.
“The government must learn lessons from last October, where the delay in extending the scheme at a time of tightening restrictions helped drive redundancies to a record high.
“Therefore, ministers should commit immediately to keeping the furlough scheme in place until a full opening of the economy is possible and at least until the end of July 2021. Only with certainty on the future of government support can businesses communities plan ahead and look to restart, rebuild and renew.”