The Chancellor has announced today that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (“the Scheme”) will be extended until the end of October 2020. Key points noted by the Chancellor in Parliament include:-

  • The Scheme will continue in its current form with no changes until the end of July.
  • Thereafter, from August to October, the Scheme will continue for all sectors and regions of the UK but with greater flexibility to support a transition back to work. Employers will be able to bring furloughed workers back to work on a part-time basis.
  • From August the Government will ask employers to start sharing with the Government the cost of paying workers’ salaries whilst they are furloughed until the scheme ends in October.
  • The overall level of support that workers can expect to receive whilst furloughed will not change. The Government has stated that workers will, through the combined efforts of the Government and employers, continue to receive the same level of support as they do now, at 80% of their salary, up to £2,500.
  • Full details of the changes to the Scheme which will apply from August will be made available by the end of May.

Today’s announcement will be a welcome relief to many employers and workers. It is not clear yet how a return to work part-time will operate under the Scheme and to what extent employers will be expected to share scheme costs with the Government and we await further details in the coming weeks.

We will be discussing this announcement and the employment law considerations of coming out of lockdown in a webinar on Friday 15 May at 11am. To join us please RSVP here.

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