Coronavirus: Brent Central has highest number of furloughed workers in the UK

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an extension to the furlough scheme until October. Picture: House o

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an extension to the furlough scheme until October. Picture: House of Commons - Credit: PA

Nearly half of all workers in Brent Central were furloughed during the coronavirus pandemic - the highest in the UK.

A record 42% of workers compared to 27% in Brent North have been unable to work, according to figures from HM Revenue & Customs.

There were 23,500 people out of a population of 55,000 in Brent Central who had to apply to the government’s furlough scheme.

In Brent North 20,400 out of 76,000 workers were affected.

The furlough scheme was introduced at the beginning of lockdown on March 23.

Last month the chancellor Rishi Sunak said that the scheme would be extended until October.

Furloughed workers across the UK will continue to receive 80% of their current salary, up to £2,500

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New flexibility will be introduced from August to get employees back to work and boost economy, the government said.

Dawn Butler, MP for Brent Central, said: “I am deeply concerned with everything associated with COVID19 as it is having a disproportionate impact on my constituents in Brent Central. many of whom are employed in vulnerable sectors such as the arts, leisure and retail.

“The residents of Brent deserve answers to the government’s planned changes to the furlough scheme, now that employers are expected to make greater contributions to employee wages.

“We’ve already seen massive job losses in the past few days alone and I fear this will continue once these changes are made.”

She added: “The government must take decisive action to protect jobs and keep unemployment down. Any rise in unemployment will also have a devastating effect on council finances. I will continue my campaigns to protect as many local businesses and jobs in Brent as possible.”

On June 15 many “non-essential” shops re-opened.

On July 4 restaurants, cafes, bars and pubs can reopen as can hair salons and barbers, places of worship, libraries, community centres,

cinemas theatres and concert halls.

Outside gyms and playgrounds will open but not indoor gyms, sports venues, nail bars and salons, swimming pools, spas, nightclubs and casinos.

Brent recorded the highest number of deaths from the pandemic at its peak.

Church End had the highest number of deaths in the country while Alperton had the highest death rate.