Further to yesterday's announcement that social distancing measures will continue, and no doubt also in response to calls from employers for confirmation by the weekend as to whether the scheme will be extended, the Chancellor announced today that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will now be in place until the end of June.
The scheme, which allows employers to furlough employees with the Government paying cash grants of 80% of their salary costs up to a maximum of £2,500, was announced on 20 March (but backdated to 1 March) and originally open for three months to the end of May, with the possibility of an extension. The confirmation that the scheme will run for another month, until the end of June, will be welcomed by employers, giving them and their furloughed employees some additional certainty. Employer groups had warned that many employers would have been forced to start collective redundancy procedures as early as next week to comply with the 45 day consultation period for large scale redundancies in time for the end of May. While the Chancellor said he will continue to review the scheme, it remains to be seen whether it will be extended further, but for now many will be breathing a sigh of relief.
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