Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced changes to the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (JRS), which will be slowly wound down between July and October.
The changes mean businesses will be able to bring furloughed employees back on a part-time basis from 1 July.
Furloughed staff will continue to get 80% of their salary until the scheme finishes at the end of October. However, employers will be expected to gradually contribute more towards furloughed employees’ salaries.
The taxpayer contribution will remain at 80% during August but employers will have to pay national insurance and employer pension contributions.
In September, employers will be asked to start paying 10% towards people’s wages, which will rise to 20% in October.
JRS closes to new entrants from 30 June, but more critically, 10 June is the last date by which an employee can be put on furlough for the first time.
Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General at the Confederation of British Industry, said:
‘Introducing part-time furloughing as more stores and factories start to open will help employees to return to work gradually and safely. Many more businesses will feel supported during this vital restart phase.
‘Firms understand the scheme must close to new entrants at some point and that those using it in future will need to make a contribution to help manage the costs.
‘However, previously viable firms not able to open until later, particularly in leisure, hospitality and the creative industries, may need further assistance in the coming months.’