The coronavirus job retention scheme may have avoided 374,000 redundancies in Scotland, according to the body representing HR professionals.
A survey for the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) asked senior decision-makers at various employers about the UK Government’s furlough scheme.
It found 43% of employers in Scotland have already used the scheme, placing an average of 58% of their staff on furlough.
In the absence of the scheme they would have made 34% of these employees redundant, the survey found.
The CIPD said this equates to just over 15% of all employees in Scotland – around 374,000 people.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled the job retention scheme at the end of March.
The organisation also found 52% of employees still working are doing so from home.
YouGov carried out the survey of 1,178 senior decision-makers at employers around the UK, 141 of which were in Scotland.
The CIPD said the furlough scheme has been key to avoiding redundancies but should be made more flexible to prevent job losses in the future.
Lee Ann Panglea, head of CIPD Scotland and Northern Ireland, said: “This survey very clearly shows the importance of the Government’s intervention, with over 374,000 redundancies prevented as a direct result of the job retention scheme.
“That being said, to prevent permanent redundancies in the UK the Government needs to look ahead and consider changes to the support it is providing to businesses.”
She added: “Our survey shows Scottish employers back both an extension to the job retention scheme and increased flexibility to allow some short-time working, enabling organisations to bring back workers from furlough gradually while rebuilding their business.
“This will become increasingly important as we look towards the next phase of this crisis, and will help avoid the current scheme simply becoming a waiting room for unemployment.”