IKEA aims to reimburse furlough payments
By: Andrew Curtin
It’s kinda weird seeing a commercially driven organisation paying back ‘free money’. Yesterday, IKEA announced that they would reimburse salaries paid by governments under their furlough schemes. According to the BBC, the furniture giant tends to repay nine governments around the world, including Ireland & the US.
However, the UK government will not be one of IKEA’s payees. When lockdown commenced, IKEA furloughed 10,000 of their UK workers, but rather than furloughing them via the UK governments jobs retention scheme, they opted to pay their staff 90% of their wages at the beginning of lockdown.
According to the Financial Times, Tolga Oncu, retail operations manager at Ingka Group, the main IKEA retailer said that they expected business to fall by 70-80%. But with stores now reopening around the world, the company has seen a rapid surge in demand and now feel the best way to thank these governments is by paying back what they received, said Oncu.
IKEA has also set-up a €26 m local community fund which allows store leaders to support the communities their store is located in.