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One-fifth of FTSE 100 companies tap government wage scheme

Antonia Cundy in London

One in five of the UK’s largest listed businesses are relying on government funds to pay staff wages, but so far only five per cent have made permanent job cuts despite a national lockdown bringing economic activity to a standstill. Industrial and consumer discretionary companies — categorised by the London Stock Exchange as those selling non-essential goods and services such as flights and clothes — have tapped the job retention scheme the most, according to an FT analysis of all the FTSE 100 constituents. Nearly half, 47, of industrial and consumer discretionary companies in the FTSE 100 said they had furloughed employees, while 16 consumer discretionary businesses and 12 industrial groups said they had made permanent job cuts.