Smart Transport

Rise in transport workers joining the furlough scheme

The number of transport and logistics workers joining the furlough scheme increased by 18%, or 28,200 employees, between December and January.

At the end of January, there were 187,600 transport and logistics workers furloughed, compared to the 159,400 furloughed in December 2020.

The data, analysed by Employment Lawyers at Richard Nelson LLP, revealed more than one-third (39%) of transport employers used the furlough scheme in January 2021.

Jayne Harrison, head of employment law at Richard Nelson LLP, said: “The transport industry has been advised by the Government to continue operating as normal, with the necessary Covid-secure measures in place.

“For workers who cannot return to their job role or who are not currently needed because of reduced demand, the furlough scheme has kept them employed and meant they are not adding to rising unemployment in the UK.”

Last year, Transport for London (TfL) furloughed 7,000 staff for three weeks as a result of falling passenger numbers by 95% due to the coronavirus.

The furlough scheme was extended until the end of September in the Budget.

When comparing the transport sector to other industries, Richard Nelson LLP found the percentage of furloughed employees in the retail and construction industries had increased more than the transport sector this year.

Harrison said: “We predict that as lockdown continues to ease, these figures will begin to decline as more workers are needed back in at their posts.”

  December 2020 January 2021 Increase
Construction 195,100 244,100 25.1%
Manufacturing 274,500 312,800 13.95%
Wholesale and retail 714,400 938,500 31.37%
Transportation and storage 159,400 197,600 17.69


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