STOCKTON MP Matt Vickers has been on hand to welcome workers returning to work part-time from furlough.

New figures show that 950,000 workers – 20 per cent of those furloughed nationally – went back to offices, shops, restaurants and factories to work on a part-time basis across the UK in July, including 31,700 people returning back to work part-time across the North East, the first month since flexible furlough was introduced.

In addition to people returning part-time, figures released earlier this week show that more than half of all people furloughed in May have already returned to work full-time. At the schemes peak in May, 30 per cent of the workforce across the UK was furloughed. The share of the workforce furloughed fell by more than half to 11 per cent by mid-August.

This shows that the furlough scheme has done what it was designed to do - save jobs and help people back to work, where they want to be.

Companies can benefit from the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus for returning staff – supporting companies returning staff to work and rewarding them for keeping them in their jobs.

Matt Vickers, MP for Stockton South, said: "It’s fantastic to see so many businesses opening their doors again and returning their furloughed staff back on either a full-time or part-time basis.

"The furlough scheme has been hugely successful in my opinion – protecting jobs which may otherwise have been at risk."

"Now, as we move into the next phase of our response to coronavirus, we want to help employers keep people on. Our Job Retention Bonus will do exactly that, supporting businesses to do the right thing.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “These figures show the success of our furlough scheme in doing what we set it up to do – to make sure people’s jobs were there for them to return to.

“That so many businesses have been able to get back to trading, and bring their staff back to the workplace is a testament to the impact the scheme has had.”