Extension of the Government’s Job Retention Scheme
The Government’s Job Retention Scheme has been extended, for four months, until the end of October.
Rishi Sunak has confirmed that employees will continue to receive 80% of their monthly wages up to £2,500 but will ask companies to start sharing the cost of the scheme from August.
The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been the most widely adopted package of support for businesses and the people they employ. A survey we conducted in April, amongst 221 businesses in London, Kent and Sussex showed that 63% of businesses have used the scheme, with 85% saying it has been critical in their ability to keep staff.
The Government faced the unenviable position of withdrawing support from businesses when it is still clearly needed. If it withdrew support now some businesses would be faced with little or no option other than to make staff redundant at a time when they are beginning to prepare for the easing of lockdown restrictions.
The Government clearly hopes the current situation will have improved considerably by August as it begins to ease businesses off the furlough scheme. Employers and staff alike will welcome the maintenance of support for up to 80% of monthly salary capped at £2,500 and will await details of the proposed changes that will be announced by the end of May.
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