The British Furniture Manufacturers has welcomed the government’s new furlough scheme announcement.

BFM welcomes Chancellor’s new furlough plans

The British Furniture Manufacturers has welcomed the government’s new furlough scheme announcement.

The trade body says the extended scheme will help protect the sector’s investment in its workforce and prevent significant redundancies.

Nick Garratt, BFM’s MD said: “Over recent years shortage of skills has been one of the challenges our industry has faced and member companies have invested heavily in developing their workforces.

“Wages are one of the biggest costs for furniture manufacturers, so the introduction of the Job Retention Scheme was a lifeline to keep businesses afloat during this crisis.

“This latest announcement is very much welcomed because it avoids the looming cliff edge at the end of June. 

“Without this, companies would have been forced into significant redundancies.

“Ultimately this extension, and the recognition of the need for greater flexibility as consumer spending ramps up, will support business through a gradual start-up.”

In regular discussions with the Department for Business, Energy and Industry Strategy (BEIS) - both directly and through the British Furniture Confederation - the BFM has pressed for more flexibility in the furlough scheme.

BFC and BFM are continuing to lobby Government on other matters including the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the role of the banks, and business rates relief.

Details of the BFM’s work during the pandemic are available on the association’s Covid-19 online area http://bfm.org.uk/covid19.html