Government eyes extending 60% furlough scheme until September #SmallBiz - The Entrepreneurial Way with A.I.


Monday, May 11, 2020

Government eyes extending 60% furlough scheme until September #SmallBiz

Originally written by Timothy Adler on Small Business

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is eyeing extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme furlough until September with Treasury covering 60 per cent of staff wages.

The Treasury is also considering topping up wages of part-time staff taken off furlough as they drift back in to work.

Previously, the chancellor has said there will be no “cliff edge” of businesses having furlough support suddenly switched off as they reopen. Originally, the furlough scheme was set to expire at the end of May, then July, and now, apparently, September.

Prime minister Boris Johnson announced a very limited opening up of the economy last night, with only those who cannot work from home being encouraged to return to work.

Shops could reopen by the start of June, while some outdoor hospitality venues and cinemas may reopen in July – providing the government sees evidence of the coronavirus dying out.

Garden centres and golf courses are other businesses reportedly being allowed to reopen this week.

Ongoing headache

How to wean businesses off the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which currently costs the Treasury £6bn a month, is an ongoing headache for the Treasury. The scheme could end up costing as much over a year as the NHS. The government has been taken aback by how enthusiastically employers and staff have embraced the scheme, which currently has about 50 per cent of the population on furlough.

Organisations representing pubs and hotels, restaurants and others in hospitality, braced to be the last small business sector to reopen, have argued that the job retention scheme should be kept open for hospitality workers indefinitely. However, Mr Sunak is reportedly not keen on sector by sector exemptions.

Edwin Morgan, director of policy, told the Telegraph: “Enabling people to return to work gradually can help businesses get back on their feet. With demand still flagging across the economy, and social distancing proving a challenge for many firms, the Government needs to be agile with its support.”

Further reading

Government launches business Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme


Government eyes extending 60% furlough scheme until September

via by Timothy Adler, Khareem Sudlow