The Chancellor has announced that the Government’s Job Retention Scheme will continue until the end of October…
…Allowing furloughed workers to receive 80 per cent of their current salary, up to a ceiling of £2,500 per month. In addition, from the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.
Adam Marshall, Director-General, British Chambers of Commerce declared: “The extension of the Job Retention Scheme will come as a huge help and a huge relief for businesses across the UK. The Chancellor is once again listening to what we’ve been saying, and the changes planned will help businesses bring their people back to work through the introduction of a part-time furlough scheme. We will engage with the Treasury and HMRC on the detail to ensure that this gives companies the flexibility they need to reopen safely.
“Our research shows that the scheme has become a key part of wider Government support for businesses, with more than 70 per cent of firms surveyed furloughing a portion of their staff. Over the coming months, the Government should continue to listen to business and evolve the scheme in line with what’s happening on the ground. Further support may yet be needed for companies who are unable to operate for an extended period, or those who face reduced capacity or demand due to ongoing restrictions.”
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, CBI Director-General, announced: “The Chancellor is confronting a challenging balancing act deftly. As economic activity slowly speeds up, it’s essential that support schemes adapt in parallel. Extending the furlough to avoid a June cliff-edge continues the significant efforts made already and will protect millions of jobs. Introducing much needed flexibility is extremely welcome. It will prepare the ground for firms that are reawakening, while helping those who remain in hibernation. That’s essential as the UK economy revives step-by-step, while supporting livelihoods.”
Mike Cherry, National Chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, stated: “The Job Retention Scheme is a lifeline which has been hugely beneficial in helping small employers keep their staff in work, and its extension is welcome. Small employers have told us that part-time furloughing will help them recover from this crisis.”
Here is the Government’s COVID-19 recovery strategy document which came out this week.
The Government has, in consultation with industry, produced ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidance to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. There are 5 key points:
- Work from home, if you can
- Carry out a COVID-19 risk assessment, in consultation with workers or trade unions
- Maintain 2 metres social distancing, wherever possible
- Where people cannot be 2 metres apart, manage transmission risk
- Reinforcing cleaning processes
There are also 8 guides covering a range of different types of work:
- Construction and other outdoor work
Guidance for people who work in or run outdoor working environments.
- Factories, plants and warehouses
Guidance for people who work in or run factories, plants and warehouses
Guidance for people working in, visiting or delivering to home environments as well as their employers
- Labs and research facilities
Guidance for people who work in or run indoor labs and research facilities and similar environments
- Offices and contact centres
Guidance for people who work in or run offices, contact centres and similar indoor environments
- Restaurants offering takeaway or delivery
Guidance for people who work in or run restaurants offering takeaway or delivery services.
- Shops and branches
Guidance for people who work in or run shops, branches, stores or similar environments.
Guidance for people who work in or from vehicles, including couriers, mobile workers, lorry drivers, on-site transit and work vehicles, field forces and similar.
Source: The National Apprenticeship Service.