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A business leader says the decision to extend the furlough scheme will be “a lifeline” for companies and workers in Lichfield and Burntwood.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced today (12th May) that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue until the end of October.
The scheme provides 80% of the salary of furloughed workers, up to £2,500 per month.
The current programme of support will continue until the end of July, with some changes made after that such as employers being able to bring workers back part time.
Paul Faulkner, chief executive of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce, said:
“The Government’s furlough scheme has been a lifeline for employers and employees alike during this challenging period.
“We welcome the confirmation of the extension to furlough scheme in full to the end of July – it will provide welcome headspace and support for businesses as they begin to ramp up efforts to keep business moving.
“We are also pleased to see that the Government will be taking a phased approach to ending the scheme.
“While we await the detail on how the scheme will change between August and October, the indication that some form of ‘part time’ or partial furlough option will be available later in the year will be welcome for businesses starting to scale back up operations but who are not up to pre COVID-19 levels of demand.”Paul Faulkner, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce
“Employers recognise that this scheme cannot go on indefinitely”
Although the Government is looking to gradually bring the country out of lockdown with a phased return to work, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said a new spike in cases could see measures reintroduced.
And Mr Faulkner said he hoped the Government would be flexible with plans for the future of the furlough process.
“Employers recognise that this scheme cannot go on indefinitely.
“The high level timeline provided today gives employers a framework for what is to come.
“Of course, so much is dependent on continuing to drive down cases of coronavirus in the UK.
“Should the Government need to ramp up lockdown measures again in future, we hope to see the Government take a flexible approach to development of this scheme inline with the economic reality and businesses’ needs.
“We would also welcome further sector specific support for those organisations that cannot start working towards ‘business as usual’ in the coming weeks, namely the hospitality industry and their supply chains.
“Those businesses most impacted by this crisis may need to see a higher level of support over a longer period of time as the scheme tapers down.”Paul Faulkner, Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce