Chancellor Considering Extending Furlough Payments Beyond April

Chancellor Rishi Sundak is, according to reports considering an extension to the UK’s furlough scheme which currently terminates in April.

The £60bn Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which pays as much as 80% of furloughed staff wages, is due to expire at the end of April however the Chancellor is believed to be considering a number of options to support jobs into the summer months.

According to one source supporting and getting people back to work will be at the centre of the Chancellor’s March budget, and is considering policies similar to the job retention bonus, and jobs support scheme, announced in 2020 but were abandoned when the furlough scheme currently in place was extended.

Earlier this month the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) called on the Chancellor to announce an extension to the furlough scheme and business rates holiday before the Budget.

The CBI said businesses cannot be expected to wait nearly two months to know whether support will be extended beyond the current deadlines. Director-General Tony Danker said: “Our Covid-related business support asks are about moving now or soon, rather than waiting until March 3.

“Business support needs to go in parallel with the tiering of restrictions.

“Sudden stops and cliff edges really don’t help and I don’t think anybody in Government believes that we’re going to have a sudden opening up with the economy.”