IKEA Intends To Repay Furlough Scheme Payments

16 JUN 2020

Global home furnishing brand IKEA has said it intends to repay furlough scheme salaries paid by governments around the world, BBC News reports.

The multinational is set to repay furlough salaries to nine governments, including Ireland and the US.

Repayments will not be made in the UK as IKEA did not claim back the salaries of its 10,000 furloughed workers there from the government.

Games Workshop and the Spectator magazine are among other UK firms committing to refunding furlough pay to the government.

Furlough schemes were established by governments across the globe to pay workers who could not do their jobs because of the coronavirus lockdowns.

Under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in the UK, furloughed workers currently receive 80 per cent of their pay.

IKEA said it started the lockdown paying 90 per cent of wages to furloughed workers.

IKEA in the UK said, "We furloughed around 10,000 co-workers in the UK. At such an uncertain time, we had initially anticipated putting a number of co-workers on furlough under the job retention scheme. However, we did not claim for or accept any money under the job retention scheme, and we will not be doing so."

The brand said in a statement that it does not plan to take any more government money from the countries where it had taken advantage of government support now that its physical stores are re-opening, "Although no one knows how things will continue to develop, or what the impact on our business or the economy will be, we are feeling more hopeful and clearer about the decisions we need to take for the future." 

According to the Financial Times, the countries from which IKEA received support are Belgium, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Ireland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Spain and the US. (Link via original reporting)

On June 12, Games Workshop said it would aim to repay furlough money after a better sales recovery than predicted.

In early June, the Spectator magazine said the financial hit it had taken during the coronavirus outbreak was not as bad as previously feared, and committed to repaying the furlough scheme funds it had received. (Link via original reporting)

Source: BBC News