Coronavirus: Over 100,000 NI workers on furlough in July

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At its peak, the furlough scheme paid the wages of 250,000 workers in Northern Ireland

More than 100,000 workers in Northern Ireland were still on the furlough scheme in July, according to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

The government’s job retention scheme paid 80% of workers wages up to £2,500 a month from March to August.

Trade unions have raised concerns that the scheme is set to end next month.

Since September, employers have had to pay 10% of the wages of staff, as well as national insurance contributions, and government covered 70% of wages.

Flexible furlough started in July which meant businesses could bring employees back on a part-time basis.

In Northern Ireland, almost 25,000 workers got back to work part-time in July.

At its peak, the job retention scheme paid the wages of 250,000 workers in Northern Ireland.

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The Unite union has called on the government to say it will extend its furlough scheme

“These figures show the success of our furlough scheme – making sure people’s jobs are there for them to return to,” Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said.

Self-employed people have also received support since March.

Figures from HMRC show 56,000 claims for a “second” support grant were made in Northern Ireland totalling £140m.

The second grant was a single payment that covered 70% of three months worth of profits up to a cap of £6,750.

“This vital support has proven invaluable for around 330,000 NI residents who have benefited from these schemes since lockdown,” Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Brandon Lewis said.

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