The government has announced that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue until end of October.
The scheme was launched in April, allowing companies to furlough employees – meaning staff are not working but their jobs are retained with government paying 80% of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.
The scheme was due to end in July but uncertainty over whether many businesses will be able to open within that timeframe has led to a flexible extension of the scheme.
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 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.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:” Our Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has protected millions of jobs and businesses across the UK during the outbreak – and I’ve been clear that I want to avoid a cliff edge and get people back to work in a measured way.
“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.”
New statistics published today (May 12) reveal the job retention scheme has protected 7.5 million workers and almost 1 million businesses.
The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July and the changes to allow more flexibility will come in from the start of August. More specific details and information around its implementation will be made available by the end of this month.
Today the government is also publishing new statistics that show businesses received £14 billion in loans and guarantees to support their cashflow during the crisis. This includes 268,000 Bounce Back Loans worth £8.3 billion, 36,000 loans worth over £6 billion through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and £359 million through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
Those who are self-employed will be able to apply for grants, worth 80% of their profits, up to £2,500 a month, from tomorrow (May 11).