Chancellor Rishi Sunak has just announced the extension of the government’s coronavirus job retention scheme, which has since March allowed companies to furlough staff on 80% pay provided by the state.
The financial assistance will now continue until the end of October, after having initially been scheduled to end in June.
Sunak told the House of Commons: “Today I can confirm the next stage of our jobs retention scheme. As we reopen the economy, we will need to support people back to work – we will do so in a measured way.
“The job retention scheme will be extended for 4 months until the end of October. By that time we would have provided 8 months of support to British people and businesses.
“Until the end of July, there will be no changes whatsoever. Then from August to October the scheme will continue for all sectors and regions of the UK, but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work.
“Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part time. And we will ask employers to start sharing with the government the task of paying people’s salaries.”
Sunak set out that full details will be available at end of May, but sought to reassure the country: “One thing that won’t change is that workers, through the combined efforts of government and employers, continue to receive the same level of overall support as they do now, at 80% of their current salary up to £2,500 a month.”
The Chancellor reported that 7.5m jobs have already been furloughed, with nearly 1m businesses supported via the scheme.