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UK firms say 9% of workforce furloughed as end of scheme nears

FILE PHOTO: People walk during the morning rush hour in the Canary Wharf amid the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in London Britain, October 15, 2020. REUTERS/Hannah McKay/File Photo

LONDON (Reuters) - British businesses said 9% of their workforce remained furloughed with less than a month to go before the closure of the government’s job retention scheme, an official survey showed on Thursday.

The Office for National Statistics said 9.1% of the workforce was furloughed during the two weeks to Oct. 4, down only marginally from the previous two-week period.

After the end of this month, furlough-type arrangements will only be available to businesses forced to close temporarily because of local or national coronavirus restrictions.

Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by Estelle Shirbon

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