Chancellor extends furlough scheme

The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak has today announced the extension of the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme until the end of October 2020.

The scheme has supported over 7.5 million furloughed workers across the UK.  Mr Sunak advised that up to the end of July the scheme remains unchanged.  And from August through to October he will look to add greater flexibility into the scheme, allowing furloughed workers to return part time.  Similarly he will look to share the cost burden between the government and the employers. He will announce more detail on the changes to the scheme later in May.

Commenting on the Chancellor’s announcement, Nova Fairbank, Head of Policy for Norfolk Chambers said:

“The extension of the Job Retention Scheme will come as a huge help and a big relief for businesses across our region.

“The Chancellor has clearly listened to what businesses have been saying, and the changes planned will help them bring their people back to work through the introduction of a part-time furlough scheme.  The Chambers network will engage with the Treasury and HMRC on the detail to ensure that this gives companies the flexibility they need to reopen safely and look forward to seeing the further details shortly.

“British Chambers research shows that the scheme has become a key part of wider government support for businesses, with more than 70% of firms surveyed across the UK furloughing a portion of their staff.

“Over the coming months, the government should continue to listen to business and evolve the scheme in line with what’s happening on the ground. Further support may yet be needed for companies who are unable to operate for an extended period, or those who face reduced capacity or demand due to ongoing restrictions.”

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