Coronavirus: Most furloughed Brits take a 20% pay cut, survey finds

Three in five Brits on furlough have taken a 20% pay cut as their employer doesn't top up the government's 80% subsidy. (Dinendra Haria/SOPA Images/Sipa USA)

Most Brits on furlough have taken a 20% pay cut, with only two in five UK firms topping up the government’s 80% wage subsidy, official figures show.

A third (30%) of Brits have now been furloughed under the terms of the coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS), according to the latest business impact of coronavirus survey (BICS).

Four in five (81%) businesses have applied for the scheme, which only covers 80% of employees’ wages.

With just two in five (42%) employers’ reporting topping up workers’ pay on top of CJRS, this means an overwhelming three in five five (78%) of furloughed Brits have taken a 20% hit to their salary.

READ MORE: Government told to extend furlough scheme into 2021 to prevent 'tsunami of job losses'

Officials are said to have warned the furlough scheme could skew wage figures.

Of businesses that reported trading, 5% of the workforce had returned from furlough in the last two weeks, while 2% had returned from remote working to the normal workplace.

The three industries reporting the highest proportion of the workforce returning from furlough were construction, manufacturing, and accommodation and food services, at 14%, 10% and 8% respectively.

The report also revealed the department for work and pensions (DWP) received 3.1 million individual declarations and 1 million new claim advances to universal credit from 16 March to 9 June — unprecedented levels of demand.

READ MORE: Coronavirus — UK workers suffer steepest drop in pay in decades

While levels of online job adverts are still far below pre-lockdown levels, there may be early evidence of some recovery in demand for labour, the report states.

Online job adverts in wholesale and retail shot up from 24% to 35% of the 2019 average between 5 and 12 June — likely as a result of shops reopening on 15 June.

Adverts for education, and health and social care jobs saw significant increases, with the latter reaching 103% of its 2019 average.

In contrast, job adverts for the catering and hospitality category saw only a small increase from 18% to 20% of its 2019 average.