THE Government's Job Retention Scheme will come to an end today, which means that employers will be required to pay employees' salaries.

The scheme has been hailed a 'job well done' by the Government, supporting 11.6 million workers nationally at a cost of £70 billion.

Dorset Chamber chief executive Ian Girling said: “There has been incredible support from the government with the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been a real lifeline for many businesses.

“Clearly the economy is facing challenges with rising inflation, supply chain issues and labour shortages. These must not be under-estimated but generally the economy is moving in the right direction.

“Many businesses in Dorset are keen to get their people back to work as furlough ends and we enter the final quarter of the year.”

The latest figures from HM Revenue and Customs showed 9,000 workers in Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole were still furloughed as of July 31.

Regional officer for Unite in Bournemouth, Janet Wall said: “The view of Unite is that we are that we are disappointed that the government has decided to bring an early end to the furlough scheme because there are several sectors in the Dorset area that would still benefit.

“The aircraft industry is not fully back up and running yet so aircraft manufactures that operate in and around Dorset have suffered badly from the cut in aircraft production over the last 18 months and they’ve had to lay off a lot of staff as a result.

“If there was a bigger guarantee of furlough being maintained then those jobs may have been able to be kept on the books long enough for the sector to pick up and that would have kept the skilled jobs in Dorset that have now otherwise disappeared.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak said: “I am immensely proud of the furlough scheme, and even more proud of UK workers and businesses whose resolve has seen us through an immensely difficult time. With the recovery well underway, and more than 1 million job vacancies, now is the right time for the scheme to draw to a close.

“But that in no way means the end of our support. Our Plan for Jobs is helping people into work and making sure they have the skills needed for the jobs of the future.”