UK Chancellor announces pandemic furlough scheme to be phased out by October

(Title Image: The Guardian)

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, has confirmed that employers will be expected to gradually take on the wage burden of employees temporarily laid off due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Under the scheme, the UK Government has provided a subsidy of up to 80% of a furloughed employee’s wages, capped at £2,500-a-month.

Following the announcement, employers will need to restart national insurance and pension contributions from August, take on responsibility for an additional 10% of pay from September and 20% of pay during October after which the scheme will end.

Employees who return to part-time work from July will need to be fully paid by employers.

There have been growing concerns that a sudden end to the scheme will result in a massive increase in unemployment as some sectors of the economy – like restaurants – may be unable to completely reopen.