Furlough shifts, self employment support extended

Published:  29 May, 2020

 The furlough scheme is shifting from August. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has confirmed tonight (Friday 29 May) that businesses, including garages using the scheme, will be taking on an increasing share of the pay for workers, but also see them return to work part-time.

At the same time, support for the self-employed has been extended. A second, and purportedly final grant will be available via the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme in August, which had been set to expire this Sunday.

The Chancellor confirmed the changes at the daily Downing Street press briefing.

On the furlough side, from August employers will pay National Insurance and pension contributions. From September, their share of the burden will include 10% of pay, which from October rises to 20%. Also, workers will be allowed to return to work part-time from July. The Chancellor said: “As we reopen the economy, there is broad consensus across the political and economic spectrum, the furlough scheme cannot continue indefinitely. Our economic response to coronavirus was designed to keep people in work, protect people’s incomes and support businesses, all to give us the best chance of recovering quickly as the economy reopens. These measures have been on a scale unmatched by any government in recent history.” Since April, the government has been paying up to 80% of employee wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month, for around 7.5 million people. The furlough has been extended twice, and is currently set to end in October.

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