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East Midlands Chamber News

Chamber responds to Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme extension

Chancellor Rishi Sunak today announced a further extension to the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to October.

He said that until the end of July, there will be no changes whatsoever to the existing scheme but from August onwards, employers will be asked to ‘start sharing, with Government, the cost of paying people’s salaries’ so employees can still receive the same level of support as they do now, which is 80% of their current pay, up to £2,500.

Further details on how much employers will be expected to contribute from July will be published by the end of May.

Mr Sunak also stated that greater flexibility will be built into the scheme to support the transition back to work, giving employers the ability to bring furloughed employees back part-time.

Scott Knowles, Chief Executive of East Midlands Chamber (Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire), said:

“Businesses will welcome the further extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme beyond June, which will help eliminate some of the uncertainties that businesses and their employees are still facing.

“The potential to keep the scheme running to October, albeit with employers contributing, will help to aid the transition back to work, while allowing flexibility to bring people back into the workplace on a part-time basis, where it is safe to do so, is also something we’ve been campaigned for.

“The furlough scheme has seen the Government provide an unprecedented level of financial support to workers affected by the pandemic with the objective of protecting jobs and businesses, for which it should be applauded.

“However, such a huge financial commitment is not sustainable over the long-term, which is why the focus now needs to shift more towards safely restarting the economy as quickly as possible so businesses can start the process of building the UK’s economic recovery, which is the best – and most sustainable – way of securing people’s livelihoods.”