Government furlough scheme extended to end of June

It was announced on Friday that the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended to June 30 to reflect continuing social distancing measures.

This announcement followed the news on Thursday, April 16 to extend lockdown for a further three weeks.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) would now be open until the end of June – providing businesses with the certainty they need.

The scheme, which allows firms to furlough employees with the government paying cash grants of 80% of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500, was originally open for three months and backdated from March 1 to the end of May.

However, the Chancellor said he would keep the scheme under review and extend it if necessary.

He said: “We’ve taken unprecedented action to support jobs and businesses through this period of uncertainty, including the UK-wide Job Retention Scheme. With the extension of the coronavirus lockdown measures yesterday, it is the right decision to extend the furlough scheme for a month to the end of June to provide clarity.

“It is vital for people’s livelihoods that the UK economy gets up and running again when it is safe to do so, and I will continue to review the scheme so it is supporting our recovery.”

The government has taken unprecedented action to help the economy and society bridge a period of national emergency so that as many people as possible can get back to work as the situation improves.

This week the Office for Budgetary Responsibility said the CJRS is limiting the impact on employment.

Future decisions on the scheme will take into account further developments on the wider measures to reduce the spread of coronavirus, as well as the responsible management of the public finances.

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