UK furlough scheme to be extended until October

  • The UK Government scheme paying 80% of furloughed workers' wages is to be extended until October, with employer contributions from August.

    Perhaps the most important economic measure the UK government took to combat the coronavirus outbreak has been its furlough scheme. The scheme allows employers to place workers on temporary leave if they can't do their jobs during the lockdown, and reimburses the employer for 80% of the employee's usual wage up to a cap of £2,500 per month.

    The scheme was originally planned as a short-term measure, but with the lockdown extended there have been some worries that it could come abruptly to an end. UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced this afternoon that the scheme will be extended until October to support employees who will need to remain furloughed.

    Around 27% of the UK workforce is currently enrolled in the scheme, totalling 7.5 million people across the country and costing around £14bn per month. As the scheme is expected to reach 100bn in total cost by October, the Chancellor also announced that it will begin asking companies to contribute to the scheme from August.

    Companies furloughing more than 100 jobs will be asked to run a 45-day consultation process, and the rules around furloughing workers are also changing to enable greater flexibility for exmployers. From August, employers will be able to bring workers back part time while they're furloughed.

    Source: BBC News

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