AkzoNobel has voluntarily decided to return the full £2.8m received through the UK government Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS), also known as furlough.
The emergency employment support scheme was set up by the UK government in 2020 to help businesses retain employees and avoid having to make redundancies due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The scheme covered 80% of a person’s salary up to a monthly capped amount.
AkzoNobel primarily used these funds to protect jobs at its Dulux Decorator Centre stores, which the company opted to close for a short period in April 2020. The money was also used to help to furlough colleagues across its Vehicle Refinishes and other coatings businesses. This enabled AkzoNobel to react quickly to serve end market demand when it returned. The final JRS claims were made last summer.
Following the strong performance of the company’s UK Decorative Paints business over the last 12 months the company has decided to repay all furlough money received.