Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed in the House of Commons this afternoon that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended until the end of October. The changes planned will help businesses bring their people back to work through the introduction of a part-time furlough scheme.
The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July and the changes to allow more flexibility will come in from the start of August. From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff. It may be that this ongoing support for those returning to work after July on a part time basis will not apply to those who have not been furloughed throughout the entire scheme period.
Manufacturers' organisation Make UK has welcomed the extension of the Job Retention Scheme, saying it "avoids a looming cliff edge" of redundancies. By that point we will have provided eight months of support to British people and businesses.
Through the CJRS, the government is paying grants to cover 80% of the salaries of furloughed workers, or £2,500 per month, whichever is the lower.
However, in recent days the issue of people being forced to work despite being placed on furlough has been highlighted as recruiters and resellers took to LinkedIn to chastise those who are allowing their staff to continue to work despite being on furlough.
He said: "We will have to seen what all the details are, but it is good that this support will remain to prevent a major increase in unemployment".
More details and information around its implementation will be made available by the end of this month, but the government has said it will look at ways in which workers can be supported to do additional training or learn new skills while furloughed.
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"In this time of unprecedented change, when people are really anxious about their jobs, it's a really hard thing to stand up and say "I think you're committing fraud, employer, and I'm going to report you". "We stood behind Britain's workers as we came into this crisis, and we will stand behind them as we come through the other side".
"In this time of unprecedented change, when people are really anxious about their jobs, it's a really hard thing to stand up and say "I think you're committing fraud, employer, and I'm going to report you".
The government indicated it was a temporary scheme but may be extended.
"For more highly skilled jobs or where extensive training is needed, employment is far more likely to be protected as the time and cost to recruit new employees in the future is likely to be more than the cost to the business of keeping them on furlough for now".
"We'd ask anyone concerned that their employer might be abusing the scheme to please contact us". But we can only rebalance the right wing extremes of much of the United Kingdom national press with your support.