Furloughed workers could return part-time as Chancellor looks to phase out scheme from next week

  • 9 May 2020, 12:04
  • Updated: 9 May 2020, 13:54

FURLOUGHED workers could return part-time as the Chancellor looks to phase out the scheme from next week.

So far 6.3 million people have been furloughed because of the economic shutdown caused by coronavirus – at a staggering cost of £8billion.

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 Rishi Sunak is expected to come to a decision this weekend about the future of the furlough scheme
Rishi Sunak is expected to come to a decision this weekend about the future of the furlough schemeCredit: Reuters

And the Financial Times today reported a decision around the future of the scheme was expected to be made this weekend, with a potential announcement made on Tuesday.

One source told the publication there had been “positive signals around flexibility of the scheme” after Business secretary Alok Sharma spoke to business groups on Friday.https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-37/html/container.html?n=0

Craig Beaumont, director of external affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses, said: “We really hope to see progress made on a part-time furlough because smaller businesses in particular benefit from being able to quote for new work, keep in touch with employees and pay their invoices.”

Furloughed workers currently have 80 per cent of their wage subsidised up to £2,500 a month.

The scheme was expected continue until the end of June.

The Sun this week revealed other options were being considered to finalise the furlough scheme.

One option being considered by the Chancellor Rishi Sunak is cutting the 80 per cent wage subsidy to 60 per cent, which would cut income by up to £625 a month.

The scheme could then be reduced even further over coming months – encouraging people to look for new jobs.

Treasury insiders said changes to the scheme could see only workers in sectors that are deemed vital to protect kept on the furlough scheme.

This could also allow the Treasury to keep workers furloughed in industries that are likely to be closed longer-term, such as pubs, restaurants, hotels and the tourism industry in general.

Who can be furloughed?

ANY UK employer can apply for the furlough scheme, including business, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities.

Employers as varied as easyJet and Premier League clubs Newcastle and Tottenham have already furloughed some of their workers.

However the government does not envisage making significant payouts to public sector employees as they believe most will continue offering essential services.

Where employers are receiving public funding for staff costs, they will be expected to continue using these funds to pay staff rather than applying for the furlough scheme.

If you are working at reduced hours and pay, you will not be eligible for furlough and it will be up to your employer to pay you as normal.

You must have created and started a PAYE payroll scheme on or before March 1, 2020 and have a UK bank account.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer agreed the scheme could not “go on infinitely” and urged the Chancellor to create a category of “semi-furloughed” people who can work part time, and to grant an extension to businesses which could stay closed for months – such as pubs and restaurants.

Changes to the scheme come as Boris Johnson is tomorrow expected to announce the first of the measures that will begin to ease the UK out of lockdown.

Garden centres are expected to be among the businesses told they will be able to reopen while observing social distancing measures.

The PM will also relax rules on exercising to allow unlimited walks, runs or cycles.

Yesterday, Environment Secretary George Eustice urged takeaway outlets to reopen, insisting they were never under any obligation to close.

He revealed talks with McDonald’s, KFC and Costa, adding: “A drive-through is made for social distancing.”

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Meanwhile, the PM is also expected to announce all arrivals into the UK will be quarantined for two weeks to stop a second coronavirus wave.

Holidaymakers and travellers arriving into the country – including Brits – at ports and airports will be forced to self-isolate for a fortnight, or risk a £1,000 fine or deportation.

It is expected the new measures to curb the Covid-19 outbreak will come into place at the start of June.

Don’t miss the latest news and figures – and essential advice for you and your family.

Kazan- Kazan National Research Technical University Казанский национальный исследовательский технический университет имени А. Н. Туполева he graduated in Economics in 1982

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