Worcester MP Robin Walker has welcomed news that workers and businesses across Worcester 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. New statistics published today revealed the job retention scheme has protected 7.5 million workers and almost 1 million businesses.

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.

Commenting on the announcement, Robin said:

“The extension of the Job Retention Scheme will be welcomed by businesses across Worcester. I was discussing this with a major employer early this week and they were hopeful of an extension until September so I am delighted that it will run for even longer than they were expecting.

“The scheme is a lifeline which has been hugely beneficial in helping small employers keep their staff in work and shows that the Chancellor is listening to them.”

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.”

ENDS

Notes to Editors

The Government is supporting businesses and protecting people’s jobs by:

  • Extending the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme by four months, until the end of October. The Government will continue to support all employers by providing 80 per cent of furloughed employees’ salaries, up to £2,500 a month until the end of July.
  • Providing flexibility to the scheme from the start of August, so that some furloughed workers can start to return to work part-time. 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.
  • Introducing an unprecedented, world-leading economic response to support businesses while protecting the livelihoods of the British people. This includes an unprecedented package for the self-employed, loans and guarantees that have so far provided billions of pounds in support, tax deferrals and grants for small businesses.

The latest figures show:

  • 35,000 CBILS loans, worth over £6 billion, have now been put out
  • Over 267,000 Bounce Back Loans worth over £8 billion have approved during the first week of the scheme
  • The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has protected 7.5 million workers and almost 1 million businesses