Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today announced the UK scheme to pay wages of workers on leave because of coronavirus will be extended to October.
Addressing the commons Mr Sunak said that the government will ask companies to “start sharing” the cost of the furlough scheme from August.
Recent Government data has revealed that 6.3m jobs have been furloughed since the launch of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme on 20th April 2020. The scheme allows employers to claim for a cash grant of up to 80% of a furloughed employees wages, capped at £2,500 a month.
Mr Sunak rejected suggestions in parliament today that some people might get “addicted” to furlough if it was extended.
“The decisions to extend the furlough scheme through to the end of October and, at least for the moment, to continue support at the existing level, are welcome in order to help both employers and employees as we move through this next stage of allowing different businesses to return to work” comments Jo Keddie, Partner and Head of Employment at Winckworth Sherwood
“Many will also be glad of flexibility for part-time working as the Job Retention Scheme enters its next phase, beginning in August, although employers may still face some difficult practical choices as to how to put that into practice and how best to balance furlough arrangements with part-time working for employees where possible.
The wider guidance issued this month surrounding health and safety requirements for businesses in different sectors will still be of crucial importance to enable a safe and protected environment for those being required to return to the workplace. ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ” ”
Overall, the Chancellor’s comments stressed the balance of responsibility between the Government and employers. We now await the detailed guidance of the Chancellor’s plans, but this will surely be one of the key themes as the Scheme evolves in the coming weeks as the Government seeks to increase economic activity across the UK.