Chancellor Rishi Sunak says that all workers will continue to receive 80% of salary from the furlough scheme
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that the job retention scheme will be extended for a further four months until the end of October. The Chancellor says 7.5 million jobs have been furloughed in the UK.
Rishi Sunak said that there will be no changes to the scheme from now until the end of July, but there will be “greater flexibility” to how the furloughing will work from July until the end of October.
Sunak had previously suggested that the government were looking into reducing it from 80% to 60% of wages, angering unions with the prospect of workers having money cut.
In a series of Tweets, the Chancellor of the Exchequer gave a list of information of the furlough scheme:
“The job retention scheme will be extended, for four months, until the end of October.”
“By that point, we will have provided eight months of support to British people and businesses. Until the end of July, there will be no changes to the scheme whatsoever.”
“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.
“We will ask employers to start sharing, with the government, the costs of paying people’s salaries.”
“Further detail will follow by the end of May but I want to assure people one thing won’t change:
Workers will, through the combined efforts of government and employers, continue to receive the same level of support as they do now, at 80% of their salary, up to £2,500.”
With 80% of their wages, nearly a quarter of the UK’s workforce has been furloughed up to a limit of £2,500 a month being paid out by the government.
The Prime Minister has said the furlough scheme was “one of the most remarkable features of the government’s response” and said that “it is absolutely right that we should do it”.
This comes two days after the government began encouraging workers in England to return to their workplaces if safe to do so.
Yesterday evening, they published guidance for making workplaces “COVID secure”, as well as requiring employers to carry out risk assessments before their employees can return to work and they can reopen.
Mike Cherry, the national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, says:
“Extending the job retention scheme and allowing small firms to furlough staff on a part-time basis will protect thousands of livelihoods over the months ahead.”
“Our members have been telling us loud and clear that the ability to furlough staff on a part-time basis will be central to aiding gradual recovery at a time when economic activity is still in the doldrums.”
The furlough scheme that was put in place to help firms who possibly wouldn’t be able to cope with the coronavirus lockdown, has also been taken advantage of by some very high-profile businesses in the country, even being used by Britain’s richest men to furlough their staff.