Business

Hundreds of thousands of jobs under threat if furlough wound down too soon - GMB

The GMB union claims hundreds of thousands of UK jobs are under threat if the furlough scheme is wound down too soon

HUNDREDS of thousands of jobs are under threat if the furlough scheme is wound down too soon, a leading union has warned.

The GMB said more than 100,000 redundancies were planned in the first four months of the year, according to its research.

At least 105,000 potential redundancies were notified to the Insolvency Service by 1,200 employers between January and April, said the union.

The number is lower than the 165,000 planned in the same period last year, said the GMB.

Gary Smith, newly elected general secretary of the union, said: "A furlough cliff-edge later this year could have dire consequences for employment, and the UK Government's 'open-mindedness' over an extension to the job retention scheme needs to become a reality.

"Ministers must learn the lessons of the last 15 months and take nothing for granted, so extending furlough simply makes sense, providing continued support for employers that will need it to retain jobs and skills.

"A recovery is a process, not an event, and these findings expose the fragilities in our economy and labour market.

"It would be negligent of the Government to think we can go back to business as usual."

The GMB is holding its annual conference online from Sunday.

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