Furlough scheme ‘to be extended beyond December’ – Rishi Sunak to make statement today

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Rishi Sunak is reportedly set to promise to keep the furlough scheme in effect even following the end of England’s second lockdown on December 2. According to The Sun, the Chancellor of the Exchequer is expected to confirm the scheme – which pays 80 percent of furloughed employees’ wages up to £2,500 per month for hours not worked – will continue to be available in any area of the UK which may face the highest level of coronavirus restrictions.

This is understood to include Tier 3 areas of England.

Rishi Sunak extended the furlough scheme beyond the former cut-off of October 31 last week, following the government announcing a second national lockdown in England.

It is currently now set to last until the end of England’s four-week lockdown on December 2 this year.

At the moment in time, businesses have flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part-time or to furlough them full-time.

They will only be asked to cover National Insurance and employer pension contributions.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Over the past eight months of this crisis we have helped millions of people to continue to provide for their families.

“But now – along with many other countries around the world – we face a tough winter ahead.

“I have always said that we will do whatever it takes as the situation evolves.

“Now, as restrictions get tougher, we are taking steps to provide further financial support to protect jobs and businesses.

“These changes will provide a vital safety net for people across the UK.”

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