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COVID-19: The number of holidays continued to decline in March and April, according to the latest figures | Economic news

The number of workers on leave has fallen to its lowest level this year despite at least 3.4 million people still depending on the job protection scheme, according to government statistics released Thursday.

The reduction was in part due to the reopening of pubs and restaurants for outdoor dining in April.

More than a million employees left the program between March and April, with some of the largest drops among those under 25, the government said.

The scheme, which pays up to 80% of wages to those who cannot work due to confinement, has given a total of 11.2 million employees in cash since the start of the pandemic.

And there were other positive signals from the government’s statistics department, which found that the number of employees on leave continued to decline even further in early May.

“Today’s data is another welcome sign that our Jobs Plan is working and that the path we have taken is the right one,” Chancellor Rishi Sunak said. “These numbers show that the program is ending naturally as people return to work and take advantage of job market opportunities.”

But of the 3.4 million people still on leave, many were involved in “beverage service activities”, which include pubs and restaurants. As of April 30, the sector still had around 70% of eligible staff who were not working and instead receiving government assistance.

The reintroduction of dining in May is not reflected in the latest figures.

This compares to just 12% across all sectors, according to official figures. Other industries that rely heavily on the program include hotels, airlines and photographers, with more than 50% of employees still on leave.

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This notice was published: 2021-06-03 10:57:00

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