Workers and businesses across Penrith and The Border have been given a boost by Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who has announced the current furlough scheme would be extended by a further four months with workers continuing to receive 80% of their current salary.
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.
The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
“Our Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has protected millions of jobs and businesses across the UK during the outbreak – and I’ve been clear that I want to avoid a cliff edge and get people back to work in a measured way.
“This extension and the changes we are making to the scheme will give flexibility to businesses while protecting the livelihoods of the British people and our future economic prospects.”
New statistics published today revealed the job retention scheme has protected 7.5 million workers and almost 1 million businesses.
Commenting, Dr Neil Hudson the MP for Penrith and The Border, said: “The extension of the Job Retention Scheme will be greatly welcomed by businesses across Cumbria.
The scheme is a real lifeline which has been hugely beneficial in helping small employers keep their staff employed. I really welcome the Government’s unprecedented support packages so far and it is heartening that the Chancellor has listened to me and my colleagues in our calling for increased breadth and flexibility to these schemes.”
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.
The Chancellor’s decision to extend the scheme, which will continue to apply across all regions and sectors in the UK economy, comes after the government outlined its plan for the next phase of its response to the coronavirus outbreak.