The Wokingham Paper

1/5 of Wokingham’s workforce furloughed due to pandemic

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A fifth of Wokingham’s workforce has been furloughed due to the coronavirus pandemic new figures reveal.  

Across the South East, 1,387,400 people are currently at home – 17,200 of them are in Wokingham borough.

Meanwhile neighbouring town Bracknell has furloughed 15,000 and 19,800 have received wage support in Reading. 

The data, published by HM Revenue & Customs, calculates the number of people helped by the UK Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS).

Since launching on Monday, April 20, the CJRS has helped UK employers severely affected by the pandemic to retain their employees and protect the UK economy.

The scheme will run until the end of October, and from next month workers can go part-time, helping provide support for businesses as people return to work.

Bracknell MP, whose constituency includes parts of Finchampstead and Wokingham Without, James Sunderland said: “This is a hugely challenging time for people and businesses, and the Government’s schemes have helped to protect the livelihoods of thousands of people in the Bracknell constituency.

“This country has a world-leading economic response to coronavirus. And as we move through the second stage of our roadmap to recovery, we are determined to kick-start the engine of our economy while continuing to provide flexible support to those who need it.”

Mr Sunderland added: “We will do everything we can to ensure people can pay their bills and put food on the table – as people continue to stay alert, to control the virus and save lives.”

The SEISS was rolled out last month and has financially supported 352,000 self-employed individuals in the South East who have been adversely affected by the coronavirus outbreak and paid grants worth a total of £1.1 billion up to Sunday, May 31. 

And this scheme has been extended as well. On Friday, May 29, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that those eligible to claim the SEISS grant will be able to claim a second and final grant in August of up to £6,750.

“The UK Government is doing everything we can to protect jobs and businesses in the South East and across the UK during the crisis,” he said. 

“Our unprecedented job retention and self-employment support schemes have supported the livelihoods of millions and will help ensure our recovery is as swift as possible.”  

Rishi Sunak. Photo by Chris McAndrew.

Further guidance on both schemes will be available tomorrow from GOV.UK

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