Government continues to be optimistic about the outlook for employment. In a recent press release they said:
“Furlough numbers have fallen to their lowest level this year, according to official statistics published 3 June, as the number of people relying on the scheme fell to 3.4 million.”
And yet that is still 3.4 million who are uncertain if they will still have a job come 30 September, when the furlough scheme is withdrawn.
We are aware of many small businesses who are keen to retain staff but are still struggling to regain market share as lockdown restrictions are gradually reduced.
And uncertainty has not been eradicated. The abandonment of COVID restrictions due to apply from the end of this month is under threat as new variants of coronavirus tilt the infection rates in yet another upward direction.
Can we take comfort from these bullish announcements from Mr Sunak? In the same press release it was asserted:
“There are also other reasons to be optimistic about the outlook for the labour market, as ONS survey results released today estimate that the number of employees on furlough fell even further in early May.
HMRC data released last month showed that the number of payrolled employees jumped by nearly 100,000 in April. Together, this makes it clear that our Plan for Jobs is working to protect and create jobs across the country.
Alongside the furlough and self-employed schemes, the Kickstart scheme is creating thousands of new jobs for young people and a range of business grants and loans have provided a bridge so that businesses could make it through the pandemic.”
Truthfully, we will have to wait and see. Readers who have lingering concerns about their ability to maintain staffing levels after 30 September 2021, would be advised to create forecasts for their business based on their actual performance to date. If uncomfortable decisions need to be made about staffing levels, they need to be based on an “eyes wide open” approach.
If you need help crunching the numbers, pick up the phone, we can help.