Furlough scheme extended to October

Robyn Black

Robyn Black

12 May 2020

Chancellor Rishi Sunak confirmed today that the scheme would run into the autumn but companies will be asked to ‘share the cost’ from August

Some 7.5m workers are now covered by the scheme, which allows employees to receive 80% of their monthly wages up to £2,500, Sunak said. It is estimated that around 2.4 million of those are hospitality workers, according to trade body UKHospitality.

Sunak told parliament that there needs to be greater flexibility in the scheme to allow a transition back to work and said that from August, the scheme would continue for all sectors and regions of the country but with greater flexibility to support that shift.

This would mean, for example, employers currently using the furlough scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time.

Yesterday trade body UKHospitality wrote to Sunak calling for additional furlough support for the sector. The letter highlighted the low levels of confidence among hospitality businesses, with trading expectations as low as 88% on last year if businesses reopen in July, as announced by the Prime Minister on Sunday.

‘Even by December trade will be markedly lower than last year, putting people’s livelihoods at risk without further support,’ the letter stated.

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