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Furlough support scheme to be extended until September

Furlough support scheme to be extended until September

Business
Getty ImagesThe government is to announce it is extending the furlough scheme until the end of September in Wednesday's Budget. Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the scheme - which pays 80% of workers' wages - would help millions through "the challenging months ahead".Some 600,000 more self-employed people will also be eligible for government help as access to grants is widened. Mr Sunak called the support schemes a "lifeline", but Labour said they should have been extended "months ago". There are currently about four million people who are using the coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) - or furlough - the highest level since last summer.The scheme has been credited for slowing the pace of job losses as tens of thousands of businesses remain shut, with nine million people furloughed at its pe...
Chancellor hints at furlough extension but says he must ‘level’ with public over pandemic toll

Chancellor hints at furlough extension but says he must ‘level’ with public over pandemic toll

Business
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has hinted at an extension to the furlough scheme but warned he will "level" with the public over the economic toll of the pandemic.Speaking to Sophy Ridge on Sunday, Mr Sunak insisted he will do whatever it takes to support business in the UK as it recovers from coronavirus lockdown measures. Asked whether furlough would be extended, he said: "I said at the beginning of this crisis that I would do whatever it took to protect people, families and business through this crisis and I remain completely committed to that."The prime minister, in the roadmap, set out a path for us to recover and reopen and I want to support people and businesses along that path."He added: "This is about appreciating the damage that coronavirus has done to our economy, ensuring that we prote...
Furlough firms must be named to prevent ‘opportunistic fraud’, say MPs

Furlough firms must be named to prevent ‘opportunistic fraud’, say MPs

Business
MPs have called on the government to publish a list of companies using the furlough scheme.It comes amid growing concern about what the Commons public accounts committee described as "opportunistic fraud" - where furloughed workers continue working while their bosses claim the grant. It is thought this could be happening in between 7% and 34% of cases.Under current plans the scale of losses will not be revealed until at least the end of next year but the committee said one should instead be released by the end of January.Committee chair Meg Hillier said: "With the Treasury claiming it can't give even a ballpark figure for the cost of COVID job support until the end of next year, public scrutiny of where taxpayers' money is going is essential." ...
Heathrow turns screw on cost cuts with new furlough plan

Heathrow turns screw on cost cuts with new furlough plan

Business
Britain's biggest airport is to furlough its entire senior management team apart from its chief executive and pave the way for more permanent job losses, underlining its pessimism about the aviation industry's short-term recovery prospects.Sky News has seen emails sent by Heathrow executives on Friday which detail plans for a new voluntary redundancy scheme and a requirement for staff to be placed on furlough for at least four weeks between the beginning of December and the end of March. Sources said the furlough requirement would apply to every Heathrow employee other than John Holland-Kaye, the airport's chief executive.The latest developments come weeks after Heathrow relinquished its crown as Europe's busiest airport to Paris's Charles de Gaulle, with passenger numbers at the London hu...
Butlin’s: 1,000 jobs at risk when furlough ends

Butlin’s: 1,000 jobs at risk when furlough ends

Business
Holiday camp operator Butlin's has yet to tell 1,000 furloughed workers what their future is when the government's wage subsidy scheme ends next month.A document sent to staff and seen by the BBC suggests employees either take paid holiday if they have any remaining or unpaid leave if not.Butlin's is currently operating at 50% capacity and is heading into the winter months when income falls significantly. It said no decision had been made about workers on the government scheme.The company said: "Since we reopened Butlin's we've worked hard to bring back as many of our team as possible whilst ensuring we're safe and secure. "There has been no decision made regarding our team who are still furloughed." Coronavirus: When will the furlough scheme end? Extend ...