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Furlough Costs will Mean ‘Difficult Decisions’ for Firms in Wales


Written by:

Robert Lloyd Griffiths
IOD Wales



A quarter of businesses using the Job Retention Scheme say they will struggle to contribute to furloughed workers’ salaries from August, in a new survey from the Institute of Directors revealed today.

  • In a survey of almost 700 company directors across Wales and the UK, around half of those using the Job Retention Scheme for their staff said they could provide 20% or above toward furloughed workers’ full-time salaries between August and October. However, a quarter said they could not afford any amount.
  • Over a third of those using the Job Retention Scheme said they would bring the majority of their furloughed workers back part-time, if the scheme allowed it. Less than one in ten said they wouldn’t bring anyone back part-time.

As businesses return to work the Institute of Directors called on the Government to provide targeted financial assistance for SMEs needing to make health and safety adaptations to their workplaces. Around 1 in 3 business leaders polled said financial support for adjusting workplaces would help get their organisation operating safely under social distancing, second only to better clarity around commuting on public transport.

Robert Lloyd Griffiths, Director of the Institute of Directors in Wales, said:

“Business leaders know that the Government’s support can’t be infinite, but the ugly truth is that if there’s no money coming in the door, many firms will be forced to make difficult decisions come August.

“Directors will be fighting tooth and nail to avoid this scenario and there is hope that as more areas of the economy return to work, more companies can keep people on board. However, despite best efforts, many firms simply won’t be able to work at full capacity for the foreseeable future, and there’s no magic wand to lift demand back up again. We also need to be very mindful in Wales that we cannot lag behind England; we have to move forward and get back to work so that we have parity with England else there is an even greater risk of extensive job losses.

“Welsh Government has been very cautious in balancing lives and livelihoods to date. We understand the sensitivity of this approach but our members are now telling us that Welsh Government now need to take the steps needed to protect jobs and safeguard our economy by easing lockdown measures in line with England so that we in Wales are not disadvantaged. We hope that the forthcoming announcements by the First Minister will address this.”