Business groups have described their collective relief after the job retention scheme was extended until the end of October. Yesterday (12th May), Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed the Government will continue to pay the wages of workers on leave due to coronavirus. Employees who are furloughed by their employers will continue to receive 80% of their monthly wages up to £2,500 until 31 October 2020. The Treasury said 7.5 million workers – around a quarter of the UK’s total workforce of 33 million people – are currently covered by the scheme.
Afford Bond Director, Paul Edwards said: “From August, the scheme will continue to operate for all employers in the UK, with furloughed workers able to return to work part-time. The extension is a lifeline which has been hugely beneficial for many of our clients and small employers, and has helped them keep their staff in work.”
There had been fears of an imminent scaling back or cessation of the scheme based on press reports. But the Confederation of British Industry said the extension “avoids a June cliff-edge and will protect millions of jobs. Small employers have told us that part-time furloughing will help them recover from this crisis and that new flexibility is welcome.”
The British Chambers of Commerce added: “The extension of the job retention scheme will come as a huge help and a huge relief for businesses across the UK. The changes will help businesses bring their people back to work through the introduction of a part-time furlough scheme.”
Many are still waiting to see what provision will be made for the self-employed. As soon as we know more, we will keep you updated. If you need expert financial advice on the support available to businesses during this period, please use the Contact Us form on our website at www.affordbond.com and we will respond as soon as possible – we are open and here to help.