Steve Bee, Director at WorkLife by OpenMoney, which provides free financial advice to workers at SMEs, commented: “With the number of employers who’ve furloughed workers at a new high of 1.2million, today’s Treasury statistics are yet another demonstration of the struggles facing UK businesses.
“The new job retention bonus scheme, announced last week, is a great initiative for firms already planning to bring furloughed workers back, as extra financial help is always welcome, but it won’t be a magic wand for those small businesses who have suffered through lockdown and continue to do so as they try and return to some kind of normal.
“It is also important to remember the worker throughout all of this, many of whom will have been hit financially by the pandemic and remain uncertain about their job security. And it shouldn’t just be those who work at large corporates who can get help. In addition to government support, there are a wide range of services that small businesses in particular can turn to, such as free financial advice and practical money management tools, to provide their employees with important help during difficult times.”