This website uses cookies for anonymised analytics and for account authentication. See our privacy and cookies policies for more information.


Supporting Scotland's vibrant voluntary sector

Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

The Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations is the membership organisation for Scotland's charities, voluntary organisations and social enterprises. Charity registered in Scotland SC003558. Registered office Mansfield Traquair Centre, 15 Mansfield Place, Edinburgh EH3 6BB.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme Survey - Findings


As my colleague Sheghley posted at the end of June, SCVO wanted to learn more about the sector's use of the furlough scheme. In order to do so, we asked organisations to complete a short survey about their use of the scheme and any potential implications for their organisation if the scheme ended before the lifting of all restrictions. This is what we found out.

Key Findings

The survey had 69 complete responses, while this response rate may not be large enough to draw any definitive or representative conclusions, it nonetheless contributes to our understanding of the impact of the pandemic on third sector organisations in Scotland. This blog and accompanying research report have been produced to share the information that we were able to obtain and we will continue to monitor the situation and carry out further research if warranted.

It is reassuring that the respondents to the survey do not anticipate making significant numbers of staff redundant at the end of furlough, but it is disappointing to learn that almost 200 people across those 69 organisations have already lost their jobs.

Most organisations that placed staff on furlough did so because they were unable to deliver services or operate as normal. In total almost 1,200 members of staff from the 69 organisations have been on furlough at some point since March 2020 and 190 are still either fully or partially furloughed.

The data suggests that lower paid and female workers are more likely to have been (or still are) furloughed.

There is an anticipated negative impact on organisations finances (42%) and to a lesser extent on their ability to deliver core services or activities (25%) if furlough ends in September with restrictions still in place.

You can find the full report in our Evidence Library.

Get in touch

If you didn't have the time to complete the survey, or if the findings don't reflect your organisation's experience, please get in touch with me at

Last modified on 6 August 2021