// Furlough scheme extended until the end of October
// Government contribution of 80% to remain unchanged until July, but August to October it will be tapered
// This means workers will continue to receive the current level of support through a combination of state & employer contributions
The UK Government has officially extended the coronavirus job retention scheme until October, although from July onwards the tax payer-funded contributions would be reduced.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced today that the furlough scheme, currently supporting 7.5 million workers through the coronavirus crisis, will remain unchanged until the end of July.
From August and until the end of October, the scheme would continue but with employers expected to start footing some of the multi-billion pound bill.
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At present, the scheme pays 80 per cent of a worker’s salary up to a £2500 monthly cap.
Sunak told MPs that from August onwards, there would be greater flexibility in order to allow furloughed staff to begin returning to work.
This means would continue to receive the current level of support through a combination of state and employer contributions.
“Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time,” Sunak said.
“And we will ask employers to start sharing with the government the cost of paying people’s salaries.”
Sunak’s announcement comes a day after the government’s lockdown exit strategy was laid out in a new 50-page document.
The strategy said shops currently considered “non-essential”, such as fashion or homeware retailers, would be able to open from the start of June.
However, other high street businesses, such as pubs, hairdressers and cinemas will have to wait until July before they can reopen.
Meanwhile from tomorrow, people in England can now do unlimited exercise, sunbathing or meet one other person as long as the two-metre rule is respected.
Ministers also set out guidance for commuters using public transport, saying they should keep two metres apart from others “wherever possible”, wear a face covering, use contactless payments, and avoid rush-hour travel.