The Chancellor of the Exchequer has announced today that the UK furlough scheme until will remain open until the end of October.
To help boost millions of struggling jobs and businesses amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Rishi Sunak has confirmed that the furlough scheme would be extended by a further four months.
Workers will continue to receive 80% of their current salary up to £2,500.
According to a statement on the gov.uk website, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time from the start of August.
Employers will be asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of those on furlough. 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.
New data released today states that it's believed around 7.5 million workers in the UK are now covered by the scheme and almost one million businesses have benefited.
Speaking on the extension, 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."
The furlough scheme will continue to apply to all regions and sectors in the UK economy.
The Chancellor’s decision to extend the scheme comes after the government outlined its plan for the next phase of response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on Sunday evening and then in full yesterday afternoon
Mr Sunak also took to social media this afternoon to confirm the furlough extension via Twitter:
1/ The job retention scheme will be extended, for four months, until the end of October.— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) May 12, 2020
By that point, we will have provided eight months of support to British people and businesses. Until the end of July, there will be no changes to the scheme whatsoever. pic.twitter.com/gQznY4c2Ir
3/ We will ask employers to start sharing, with the government, the costs of paying people’s salaries.— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) May 12, 2020
5/ Read more about today's announcement here https://t.co/oibfxlV64U— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) May 12, 2020
The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July.
The changes to allow more flexibility will come in from the start of August and more specific details and information around these implementations will be made available to learn more about by the end of this month.
Additionally, the government has announced it will explore a variety of ways to support the furloughed workers who wish to do additional training, or learn new skills during this period and further clarity is expected to be provided on this within due course.
For further information regarding the furlough extension and to hear from other related parties, please do refer to the official government announcement of the matter on the gov.uk website.
You can read more here.