The Chancellor announced yesterday, Tuesday 12th May, that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain open until the end of October.
In a boost to millions of jobs and businesses, Rishi Sunak said the furlough scheme would be extended by a further four months with workers continuing to receive 80% of their current salary. From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.
The Chancellor commented “This extension and the changes we are making to the scheme will give flexibility to businesses, while protecting the livelihoods of the British people and our future economic prospects.”
The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.
The Chancellor’s decision to extend the scheme, which will continue to apply across all regions and sectors in the UK economy, comes after the government outlined its plan for the next phase of its response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) National Chairman Mike Cherry said “Extending the Job Retention Scheme (JRS) 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.”
“We await further detail on the contributions that will be required of small employers after July. Our five million-strong self-employed community is also seeking reassurances about the measures that will be taken to avoid a cliff edge moment where income support is concerned.”