Government’s Job Retention Scheme extended to October
Chancellor Rishi Sunak informed Parliament on Tuesday that the government’s Job Retention Scheme will be extended to October.
Under the scheme, the government will continue to pay 80 per cent of wages for workers on leave due to the Covid-19 pandemic, up to £2,500. 7.5 million UK workers have now been furloughed under it.
Sunak added that from August, firms will be asked to “start sharing” the costs of the scheme, with the chancellor having previously warned it was unsustainable in its current uptake.
From August, there will also be greater flexibility to help UK citizens return to work in phases and employers using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed staff back part-time.
Sunak said: "I'm extending the scheme because I won't give up on the people who rely on it.
"Our message today is simple: we stood behind Britain's workers and businesses as we came into this crisis, and we will stand behind them as we come through the other side.
"Nobody who is on the furlough scheme wants to be on this scheme. People up and down this country believe in the dignity of their work, going to work, providing for their families, it's not their fault their business has been asked to close or asked to stay at home.”
The British Chambers of Commerce group was supportive of the move, while the TUC union also welcomed Sunak’s announcement.
TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said that the extension of the scheme comes as a “big relief for millions.”