Construction furlough total rises above 750,000 staff

Aaron Morby 2 years ago

Construction companies furloughed just over three-quarters of a million staff during the coronavirus outbreak from March to the end of June.

The number accounts for 59% of eligible staff with 75% of eligible firms using the coronavirus job retention scheme at some point in the last five months.

New figures from HM Revenue and Customs reveal that £2.6bn was paid out to 171,400 firms making claims for support for staff.

From now on the number of staff on furlough is expected to diminish sharply as contractors bring staff back into work or opt for redundancies to slim down for predicted lower levels of activity.

The level of support for the self-employed was even greater.

New June figures from the self-employment income support scheme reveal 867,000 construction workers received pay-outs, representing an 81% take-up rate.

Pay-outs to the self-employed total just over £3bn with the average claim at £3,500.

This takes total Government support for the construction workforce so far to over £5.6bn.

For business claims for furloughed staff alone, construction ranked fourth behind retail (£5.2bn), hospitality and food (£4.1bn) and manufacturing (£3.3bn).

Across the UK, Scotland had the highest percentage take-up for support among staff, while in England the greatest proportion of take-up was in the south west with 62% of total eligible staff placed on the coronavirus job protection scheme.

Construction staff furloughs by region
Staff furloughed Eligible take-up
England 601,000 1,059,400 57%
North East 31,500 52,000 60%
North West 77,500 135,500 57%
Yorks & Humbs 58,100 100,800 58%
East Midlands 53,100 94,400 56%
West Midlands 55,000 97,900 56%
East 79,800 141,500 56%
London 77,500 140,300 55%
South East 97,200 182,500 53%
South West 71,300 114,500 62%
Wales 34,600 57,800 60%
Scotland 87,900 121,500 72%
Northern Ireland 23,800 34,200 70%


Self-employed construction claims by region

No claims



England 767,000 944,500 81% £2.7bn

North East
21,300 25,800 83% £69m

North West
73,700 89,700 82% £238m

Yorks & Humbs
57,800 70,300 82% £195m

East Midlands
55,800 68,600 81% £200m

West Midlands
66,900 82,300 81% £234m

97,200 118,900 82% £372m

189,600 239,500 79% £660m

South East
159,800 130,800 82% £496m

South West
73,800 89,600 82% £263m
Wales 34,500 41,200 84% £107m
Scotland 40,500 49,100 83% £145m
Northern Ireland 23,300 27,000 86% £75m


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