Chancellor’s move saved hundreds of thousands of Scottish jobs

Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has welcomed research confirming that the swift action by Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has saved hundreds of thousands of jobs across Scotland.

A survey, commissioned by the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development, has found that Scottish employers have on average furloughed 58% of their employees and, in the absence of the Job Retention Scheme, would have made 34% of their workforce redundant. That equates to over 15% of all employees in Scotland. The survey shows the importance of the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) in Scotland, with an estimated 374,000 redundancies avoided. 

Mr Halcro Johnston said: “The decisive action taken by the UK Government has been vital for many households and businesses across the Highlands and Islands.

“By being able to furlough their workers, businesses have been able to put themselves on a sounder financial footing that would otherwise have been the case.

“As well as protecting household incomes, it also makes it much more likely that the jobs will still be there when the restrictions are eventually relaxed and we return to some kind of normality.

“The strength and diversity of the UK’s economy is proving to be a vital asset which the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is rightly drawing on to help get all parts of the United Kingdom through this emergency.

“It’s still too early to say what the economic consequences of the pandemic will be, but the Job Retention Scheme will have played a crucial part in mitigating the inevitable damage.”