FURLOUGH scheme is to be extended and workers will get upto 80% of wages paid for hours they don’t work during new lockdown.
The scheme, which was due to finish yesterday, will be extended for the duration of tougher national measures.
It means employees for businesses due to the lockdown will get up to 80% of wages paid for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
Businesses will be allowed to bring back furloughed employees on a part-time basis – but they must have been on payroll before October 30.
Companies will only have to pay National Insurance or employer pension contributions.
The Job Support Scheme, which was due to start today, has been postponed until the furlough scheme ends.
Mortgage holidays will also be extended to help reassure homeowners.
Businesses closed due to new rules will also get grants of up to £3,000 per month.
While £1.1billion will be provided to Local Authorities to help support businesses.
The new lockdown is set to last until December 2 in an attempt to save the nation’s Christmas and will see the closure of all non-essential businesses but schools and colleges will remain open.
Boris Johnson has told the nation they must “stay at home” for four weeks from Thursday in a fresh lockdown to “protect the NHS and save lives”.
Speaking this evening, Mr Johnson said: “We are not alone with what we’re going through.
“As we come tougher now to fight this second wave, i want to say something about the way ahead.
“I am optimistic that this will feel very different by the spring.”
He added: “We will get through this. We must act now to prevent this second surge.”
Details about how the furlough extension will work are expected to be released in the coming days.
Grim new stats from the government shows Britain has passed one million coronavirus cases, with 46,555 deaths.
Patrick Vallance, the government’s chief scientific adviser, said: “What is clear that in terms of deaths over the winter, there is the potential for this to be twice as bad in comparison to the first wave.”
Last week data from the Office for National Statistics revealed than 2million people were still on furlough.
There were fears of a “job loss bloodbath” when furlough scheme ended as companies were expected to lay off staff they can no longer afford to keep on.
The proportion of people on furlough is down though from early May when 8.9million workers – more than one in four – were supported by furlough, which initially covered 80% of worker wages – up to £2,500 a month.
Other measures announced by Mr Johnson include:
- Pubs and restaurants will shut but will be allowed to do takeaways and deliveries
- Nurseries and schools are to remain open
- International travel will be banned – except for work
- No overnight stays and internal UK-wide travel is set to be discouraged
- All non-essential retail will close, but supermarkets will be able to sell any and all goods they like
- There will be a nationwide ban on people mixing indoors – except for childcare
- People will be allowed to exercise outdoors
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has already made the new Job Support scheme more generous than initially proposed.
The Job Support Scheme was due to start on November 1, and run for six months until April 30, 2021 – though the government has said it will review it in January.
When the Chancellor Rishi Sunak first announced government support for jobs on March 20, he said it would only last until May 31.