Chancellor confirms that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is to continue until October 2020.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has today confirmed that the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will remain in place until October 2020.

This announcement follows concerns raised by business leaders, workers and politicians alike that the end of the scheme, under which employees can be furloughed from their jobs with 80% of their wages covered by a government grant claimed by their employer, could result in significant damage to the UK economy.

The scheme will now be extended to the end of October 2020 (the original end date was the end of June 2020).

Mr Sunak also confirmed that there will be no change to the way the scheme operates until the end of July 2020, following which additional flexibility will be implemented into the scheme for August, September and October.

This additional flexibility will include allowing employers to bring back their employees part time, in contrast to the current system which only subsidises employees who are not working at all.

Against expectations, Mr Sunak confirmed that employees will continue to receive 80% of their salary, but employers will be required to make a contribution. There had been speculation that the scheme would be lowered to only cover 60% of an employee’s wages.

As has become a common refrain as economic measures have been introduced throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the finer details of the scheme, include the level of contribution required from employers, are eagerly awaited, which we expect to receive by the end of May.  The MLP Law Employment team will make sure you are kept up to date on every development as it happens, so keep an eye on our twitter account @HRHeroUK or get in touch with us on 0161 926 9969 or employment@mlplaw.co.uk.