The government’s furlough scheme has been a lifeline for many retailers forced to cease or limit trading during the coronavirus pandemic.
ONS data shows that the number of people on furlough peaked at just under 9 million last spring and of those whose wages were being subsidised by the state 1.85 million worked in the retail and wholesale sectors alone.
The scheme has officially been extended until the end of September, however, with retailers deemed non-essential allowed to reopen from next month, decisions about who to bring back from furlough, if at all, are coming to a head right now.
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