Majority of workers to come off furlough to end by end of August

Nearly two-thirds of furloughed employees will be back at work either full or part-time by the end of August.

This was found by XpertHR, who discovered that 46 per cent of employers expect staff on furlough to start working again by August, as well as 19 per cent believe workers will return part-time at the end of the summer. These two figures add up to 65 per cent.

Back at the end of May, Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer made amendments to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), one of these being that from the 1st July, employees would be allowed to work part-time whilst on furlough.

Also, from August onwards, employers will pay National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions for those workers on furlough. As well as, from September companies must pay 10 per cent and then 20 per cent in October of the 80 per cent of wages the furlough scheme entitles to employees.

Figures reveal that over 9 million employees have been furloughed under the CJRS.

It was also revealed that over a third (35 per cent) are now planning on making some redundancies and that 10 per cent of those on furlough could be facing redundancy by the end of August.

More than a fifth (21 per cent) have stated that their workplace has reopened for employees.

However, nearly three-quarters (72 per cent) of employers predict that staff will be reluctant to return to work and 26 per cent believe they will see a fall in employee engagement. One positive thing that HR professionals think has come from the pandemic is the improvement of staff communications.

Sheila Attwood, managing editor of XpertHR said:

Having employees on board as the business evolves over the next few months will be the key to success. Employers are already talking to people about how they feel about the return to the workplace and are aware that there are very mixed views on this, with some eager to get back and others still fearful about it. It will be especially difficult for those who have been furloughed and who will need some time to readjust to working.

HR professionals need to do all they can to reassure employees about the steps employers are taking to keep them safe, offer mental health and wellbeing support, check in regularly with line managers to ensure they have the additional support they need, and keep communicating through a variety of platforms and media so that people know what is happening.

In order to gather these results, XpertHR spoke to 191 HR professionals.