News 12 May 2020

UK Government Extends Furlough Scheme By Four Months

12 May 2020

The UK furlough scheme has been extended by four months to October 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed.

The scheme was introduced following the outbreak of COVID-19 to pay workers on leave because of the virus, with over 7.5 million people currently being covered by furlough.

Chancellor Sunak said employees will continue to receive 80% of their wages up to £2,500, but also unveiled plans for the government to ask employers to “start sharing” the cost of the scheme from August.

Announcing the scheme, Chancellor Sunak said: “I’m extending the scheme because I won’t give up on the people who rely on it.

“Our message today is simple: we stood behind Britain’s workers and businesses as we came into this crisis, and we will stand behind them as we come through the other side.”

Furloughed employees will be able to return to work part-time from July, with employers paying a chunk of salaries from then to October.

“From August to October, the scheme will continue for all sectors and regions of the UK but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work,” Sunak said.

“Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time. And we we will ask employers to start sharing with the Government the cost of paying people’s salaries. Full details will follow by the end of May.”

He also said: “Nobody who is on the furlough scheme wants to be on this scheme.

People up and down this country believe in the dignity of their work, going to work, providing for their families, it’s not their fault their business has been asked to close or asked to stay at home.”