UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which was devised to protect jobs during the socio-economic crisis caused by Covid-19, till the end of October.
The chancellor announced on Tuesday that workers will continue to receive 80 percent of their current salary, upto GBP 2,500, under the furlough scheme. Furloughed workers are expected to return to work part-time from the start of August and employers are asked to pay a percentage towards their salaries.
The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80 percent of their salary.
“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,” Sunak said.
“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.”
Official figures released on Tuesday showed that the job retention scheme protected 7.5 million workers and almost 1 million businesses, the chancellor said. The government expects to add more flexibility to the scheme from the start of August. Further, official figures showed that businesses benefited from over GBP 14 billion in loans and guarantees to support their cashflow during the crisis. This includes 268,000 Bounce Back Loans worth GBP 8.3 billion, 36,000 loans worth over GBP 6 billion through the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and GBP 359 million through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme, the HM Treasury said. Groups representing UK businesses such as FSB, BCC and CBI welcome the extension of the Job Retention Scheme.