80% furlough scheme extended to the end of October

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which pays 80% of furloughed staff salaries has been extended to end of October.

The 80% furloughed worker pay scheme has been extended to the end of October.

Industry calls for those on furlough to be allowed to work part-time have been acted upon, although the company will have to pay an increased proportion of a person's pay if they work.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue to pay 80% of a furloughed person's salary up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. From 1 August part time work will be allowed to try to get people back to work, but if a person works there will be a reduction in the proportion of the salary met by the state.

More information about how this will work and how much companies will have to pay is promised by the end of this month (May).

The dilemma facing government about allowing people to work who are being paid by the state is that firms would never want the arrangement to end. Hence the reduction in the proportion paid by the state commensurate with the time worked.

On the other hand, if people do not work it will take longer for the economy to recover from what the Bank of England predicted last week would be a fall of 30%, before starting to recover sharply once people return to work. How sharply will depend on how many companies go bust and how many people lose their jobs.

For comparison, the fall in 2008 was just less than 6.5%.

The changes to the Job Retention Scheme were announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak yesterday (12 May). He said they would help get millions of people back to work and help to save many firms.

Figures published yesterday showed the Job Retention Scheme has so far paid out £10.1billion to 7.5million workers from almost a million businesses.

The government also published statistics yesterday showing that more than £14billion has been lent to firms under government guarantees. This includes 268,000 100% guaranteed Bounce Back Loans worth £8.3billion, 36,000 loans worth over £6billion through the 80% guaranted Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme, and £359million through the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme.