UK extends Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to March 2021
London, Nov. 5, 2020 (AltAfrica)-UK government has extended the furlough scheme-Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, across the country until the end of March.
The UK Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme supports People and businesses across the UK with additional financial support as part of the government’s plan for the next phase of its response to the coronavirus outbreak particularly as England begins another four weeks lockdown on Thursday
Chancellor Rishi Sunak Sunak said the scheme will pay up to 80% of a person’s wage up to £2,500 a month. He told the Commons that the government will review the policy in January.
Explaining the significant reversal in Government policy, Mr Sunak said he had to make “rapid adjustments” to the economic response to Covid-19 pandemic, owing to how the virus has spread.
He told the Commons: “I know that people watching at home will have been frustrated by the changes the Government has brought in during the past few weeks.
Mr Sunak said: “We can announce today that the furlough scheme will not be extended for one month, it will be extended until the end of March.
“The Government will continue to help pay people’s wages up to 80 per cent of the normal amount. All employers will have to pay for hours not worked is the cost of employer NICs and pension contributions.
“We will review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.”
Mr Sunak said the Government’s highest priority remains “to protect jobs and livelihoods”.
“I have had to make rapid adjustments to our economic plans as the spread of the virus has accelerated.”
The announcement came on the day England entered a second national lockdown in the face of surging Covid-19 cases.
He also outlined support for those who are self-employed, telling MPs: “For self-employed people, I can confirm the next income support grant which covers the period November to January will now increase to 80 per cent of average profits up to £7,500.”
The chancellor said his intention was “to give businesses security through the winter”.
“The security we are providing will protect millions of jobs,” he added.
He said the scheme would apply throughout the UK, saying the country had “a Treasury for the whole of the United Kingdom”.
As part of the revised scheme, anyone made redundant after 23 September can be rehired and put back on furlough.