• May 13, 2020 7:53 pm
  • charlton, London
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Government extends furlough scheme until October: The government has extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for four months, until the end of October. The scheme, which sees the government pay 80% of furloughed workers’ wages – up to a maximum of £2,500 – will continue in its current guise until the end of July. From August to October the scheme “will continue for all sectors and regions of the UK, but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work”, said chancellor Rishi Sunak. He added at this point employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time and the government would ask employers to start sharing, with the government, the costs of paying people’s salaries. The government has committed to publish details by the end of this month of the support that will be put in place from August. Sunak said: “We are doing everything we can to protect everyone currently unable to work. As we reopen the economy we will need to support people back to work.” Sunak promised workers would not be worse off during the second phase of the furlough scheme, and told the House of Commons “the level of support that people receive won’t change but that will be shared between the government and employers”. The furlough scheme that Sunak announced on 20 March is now costing more than £14bn a month with the government now absorbing the cost of paying 7.5 million people and helping almost one million businesses. The original scheme covered the smaller amount of 80% of an individual’s wages or £2,500 a month. It was originally for three months to May, and was then extended to the end of June. The government also said any business planning to make more than 100 people redundant needs to have a consultation period of at least 45 days, which means they need to have launched it before 18 May in order to complete the process before the existing furlough scheme runs out. It comes following an update from the Office for National Statistics which pushed the UK death toll from coronavirus above 40,000 people.

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