News

12 May 2020

Chancellor extends furlough scheme until October

In a boost to millions of jobs and businesses, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said the furlough scheme would be extended by a further four months with workers continuing to receive 80% of their current salary.

As work begins to reopen the economy, we need to support people to get back to work.

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."

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

New statistics published today revealed 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.

The government will explore ways through which furloughed workers who wish to do additional training or learn new skills are supported during this period.

It will also continue to work closely with the Devolved Administrations to ensure the scheme supports people across the Union.

Coronavirus Financial Support for business

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.

The scheme is just one part of the government’s economic response to coronavirus, including an unprecedented package for the self-employed, loans, and guarantees that have so far provided billions of pounds in support, tax deferrals, and grants for small businesses.

Today the government is also publishing new statistics that show businesses have benefitted from over £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.