75% of Tourism Related jobs still on furlough

Posted 09 Sep, 2020

Changes to the Job Retention Scheme took effect on 1st Sept, with the UK Government reducing their contribution to 70% of wages (up to £2,187.50) for the hours the employee is on furlough. Employers now need to top up the difference to employees’ wages to ensure they receive 80% (up to £2,500). More information HERE

This scheme has provided a lifeline to jobs in tourism. As at 31st August, the number of employees on furlough in Northern Ireland was 249,600, an increase of 9,400 from previous month.

Flexibility was introduced into the scheme in July which allowed employers to furlough staff on a part time basis, which could account for the increase.

The sectoral breakdown shows, that as a percentage of total employees, Accommodation & food services, followed by Arts, entertainment, recreation & other services have the most on furlough with 81% and 70% respectively of their staff on the scheme. Combined this totals 50,900 employees, an increase of 2,700 on the previous month.

Since July, there have been a number of redundancy announcements. We believe that this is the tip of the iceberg. With the Furlough scheme due to finish at 31st October, there are real concerns that thousands of people working in Tourism & Hospitality will be made redundant. We are working with our counterparts across the UK to make the case to the Chancellor the need for a sectoral scheme to be introduced from November.

Figures published by HMRC 4th September