Chancellor Rishi Sunak gave Parliament an update at lunchtime today regarding the Job Retention Scheme.
We usually avoid watching any broadcasts from the House of Commons, mainly because it seems to be an unwelcome insight into what an Eton dorm room at bedtime must be like (if you want to play along simply change ‘Mr Speaker’ to ‘Matron’, ‘My learned/honourable friend’ to any one of ‘Andy/Ra/Pungo/Bunter/Flapper/Wiffy or Knobber’ and finally replace any ‘here-here-ing’ with the sound of self-gratification and the eating of soft biscuits).
However, the Furlough Scheme is one of, if not the, most important areas of help in the countries efforts to keep the Hospitality Industry alive during coronavirus, so we took one for the team.
There had been some pretty worrying rumours flying around the media with regards to the ending or scaling back of the Job Retention Scheme/Furlough. As it turned out, when Rishi started talking, the rumours were largely and thankfully unfounded.
- The Job Retention Scheme will be extended for 4 months until the end of October.
- There will be no change in the Job Retention Scheme until the end July.
- From August to October the Job Retention Scheme will focus on getting people back to work. The details of this are yet to be 100% confirmed but a key idea is that people will be able to go back to work part-time so that the employer pays for part-time wages and the government tops it up under the furlough scheme to the 80% level currently paid.
To be clear 80% Furlough payments will be continued to be paid until the end of October, if you cannot work at all. After August if you can work part-time for your employer then you will still receive a minimum of the 80% Furlough payment it will just come from a combination of the government and your employer.
So a bit of relief from the Chancellor who is beginning to come out of this pandemic head and shoulders ahead of the rest of the current government (although that is a little like winning the ‘Least Racist Inbred Award’ at a Trump Rally). Hopefully that slight peace of mind will be able to help people focus on the next stage of this mission – getting ourselves back open again.