ASOS to reject UK govt bonus for bringing back furloughed staff

FILE PHOTO: A model walks on an in-house catwalk at the ASOS headquarters in London
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LONDON (Reuters) - British online fashion retailer ASOS <ASOS.L> on Wednesday joined peers Primark <ABF.L> and John Lewis in saying it would not take advantage of a British government scheme to pay employers for bringing back staff from furlough.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak said last week the government would introduce a new jobs retention bonus of 1,000 pounds ($1,260) per employee to encourage businesses to bring back staff they furloughed because of the coronavirus crisis.

ASOS furloughed about 1,000 staff.

"We will not be applying for the furlough bonus as announced by the chancellor," CEO Nick Beighton told reporters.

Earlier ASOS said it would repay the money it claimed under the original furlough scheme after a rise in sales during the lockdown put it on track to deliver annual profit towards the top end of expectations.

(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Sarah Young)