Scottish registered social landlords (RSLs) have reported a doubling of the number of staff on furlough – with the total at its highest level since July, new figures show.
The Scottish Housing Regulator’s (SHR) latest monthly update showed that 891 staff across 171 RSLs were on furlough in January as Scotland went back into a full lockdown at the beginning of the year.
The figure was also more than double that of November’s figure of 359. On average seven per cent of staff are on furlough.
Last week, Treasury figures showed that 4.7 million people across the UK were on furlough in January as a result of tighter lockdown restrictions.
The peak of furlough for Scottish social landlords was last May, when 1,803 staff across the sector were involved in the arrangement.
The latest SHR update also showed that rent arrears for RSLs edged up for the first time since August.
Total arrears in January were £62.59m, compared to £62.16m in November. On average landlords had rent arrears of 4.55 per cent in January.
At local authorities, the SHR reported a fall in January rent arrears of 1.9 per cent to £102.72m, compared with November.
And the notice of proceedings against RSL tenants for non-payment of rent fell a fifth to 364 in January – the lowest figure since July.
The regulator suspended its December return as it said landlords’ resources were normally under strain during that month and in recognition of the “current pressures”.