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Chancellor Rishi Sunak introduced the furlough scheme, also called the Job Retention scheme, in March in a bid to limit the number of people losing their jobs during the lockdown. In the furlough scheme, the Government subsidises up to 80 percent of workers’ wages up to a limit of £2,500 a month. Companies have the option of topping up workers with the extra 20 percent where possible, but this is not compulsory.
Has furlough ended?
As it stands, the furlough scheme has not yet ended but will do very soon.
From October 1, the Government will be paying 60 percent of workers’ wages rather than 80 percent, with employers expected to provide the additional 20 or 40 percent.
Furlough officially ends on October 31, 2020, where it will be replaced with another scheme.
The Job Support scheme will kick in on November 1, the day after the furlough program ends.
Under the new system, a worker who fulfils a minimum of 33 percent of their weekly hours will be given 77 percent of their weekly wage.
It would see the Government paying a small 22 percent fraction of wages, with firms expected to pay up the remainder.
The new emergency fund will be in place for a six month period.
Mr Sunak said the furlough scheme had to end because the support must “adapt and evolve”.
He said no decision was harder, but it was “fundamentally wrong” to keep people in unviable jobs.
Mr Sunak told MPs he was unable to save every job as he unveiled details of the new Job Support Scheme.
In addition to the furlough replacement, the Chancellor announced that businesses borrowing through the Government’s loan shame would be given more time to repay the sum.
A VAT cut for hospital and tourism firms will also be extended until March 2021.
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The cut, which saw rates drop from 20 percent to five percent on July 15, had been due to expire on January 12 next year.
Mr Sunak said his aim is to create new jobs that provide genuine security for employees.
Unlike during the Spring lockdown when businesses were forced to close to the general public, most establishments are open but with reduced demand.
The new Job Support scheme has been designed to avoid redundancies for those who are forced to work fewer hours.
It comes as a recent report from public body Acas found more than a third of British employers plan to make staff redundant over the coming months.
Can I still claim furlough?
Yes, you are still able to claim furlough until October 31.
However, for the next 30 days, the furlough scheme will only provide 60 percent of your wages, and your employer should provide the rest.
From today, workers can also be removed from the scheme if employers deem it a necessary move, which includes making people redundant.
To find out if you personally can still claim furlough, it’s best to contact your employer to see what they are doing.
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