Speaking to parliament today, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced an extension of the furlough scheme to the end of October. The 4 months extension come after Covid-19 related deaths passed 40,000 and the number of confirmed cases in Bristol rose to 672 from 670, as published yesterday (Monday, May 11) by official statistics.
The Government’s furlough scheme pays 80 percent of wages for workers who are on temporary leave. Currently, at least six million people in the UK benefit from the furlough scheme. This, therefore, means that the scheme will pay the salary of furloughed workers until the end of October. According to Mr. Sunak, the program has furloughed 7.5 million jobs which would otherwise be lost.
During his 40th birthday, he shared that, “By that point, we will have provided eight months of support to British people and businesses.” He also added, “Until the end of July, there will be no changes to the scheme whatsoever.”
Mr. Sunak also said that the scheme will experience flexibility for regions and sectors in the UK, to support the move as people go back to work. Although the scheme was expected to run out in June, Mr. Sunak has made a great assurance that there will be no alterations made to the scheme until the end of July.
It had also been reported that the scheme would continue up until September with the support of wages cut from 80% to 60%. But, it is a big relief to millions of UK residents who are working from home, as Rishi Sunak said that the Government is committed to continue standing behind its people at this difficult time. Apart from covering 80% of wages, he said that the Government has come up with plans to support part-time working, which is vital for a safe and slow return to work.
After July, employers using the scheme will allow furloughed employees to return to work part-time. According to Mr. Sunak, the employers will share the cost of paying furloughed employees’ salaries with the Government. He went on to assure the people that the combined efforts of employers together with the Government will see that they continue to receive the support of 80% of their salary up to 2,500 Euros a month.
He also said that full details of the extension will be communicated by the end of May.