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02nd Mar 2021

Furlough scheme set to be extended until September

The furlough scheme was set to end in May this year

Nadine Batchelor-Hunt

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will extend the furlough scheme tomorrow when he delivers the Spring Budget

The scheme was set to stop at the end of April this year.

The move will continue to support furloughed employees until September, providing them with 80 per cent of their current salary. 

And, as the list of furloughed workers still continues to grow, it is a move that will be welcomed up and down the country.

However, employers will be obligated to contribute 10 per cent of furloughed workers’ payment in July – and this will increase to 20 per cent in August and September.

This comes after stark figures from the Treasury revealed an additional 700,000 people were furloughed in January – with 16 per cent of all eligible workers relying on the scheme. 

The government are also set to make adjustments to the financial support for self-employed people in the form of grants – many of whom feel they have been left high and dry by the Treasury. 

The Treasury says these grants will help around 600,000 people.

Rishi Sunak said: “Our Covid support schemes have been a lifeline to millions, protecting jobs and incomes across the UK. 

“There’s now a light at the end of the tunnel with a roadmap to reopening, so it’s only right that we continue to help business and individuals through the challenging months ahead.”

Labour, however, have criticised the timing of the move – questioning why it wasn’t announced earlier.

Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Bridget Phillipson, said: “These changes to support schemes should have been made months ago. 

“Businesses and workers have been pleading with the Chancellor to give them certainty – but they have had to wait because he said it wouldn’t be appropriate until the Budget.

“Announcing it the night before shows the focus is on Rishi Sunak getting his moment in the sun rather than protecting jobs and livelihoods.”

The Chancellor will deliver his Budget in full to the House of Commons tomorrow at 12.30pm GMT.