Furlough scheme: Rishi Sunak expected to ask employers to pay 20% of staff wages


RISHI Sunak is expected to ask employers to pay 20 per cent of their staff’s wage bills from August.

The Chancellor will today outline details of the furlough scheme and how it will change in the next few months to help get Britain back to work.

Rishi Sunak will unveil details of the furlough scheme today

At the moment the Government is paying the wages of 8.4million people at the moment, but the PM has said he wants people to start to return to work if they can.

The Chancellor wants to wind down the scheme over the next few months and encourage more people back to the office.

The ballooning cost of the scheme is set to reach around £80billion, financial analysts have predicted.

The scheme, which pays 80 per cent of people’s wages up to a total of £2,500, is thought to have cost around £15billion so far.

Mr Sunak has said he will extend furlough until October, and will give the ability for some workers to do it part-time.

But from August employers will have to step up and pay their way towards it.

The Times and other newspapers reported this share would be 20 per cent.

The Government will only top up the rest if they agree to cough up their share.

Experts fear that thousands of jobs could be lost from August onwards as employers decide they can’t, or won’t, pay the extra.

Nearly in four firms say they cannot afford to top-up furloughed workers’ salaries – in a chilling sign of how many more jobs could be lost.

A survey of almost 700 company directors found that about half of those using the scheme said they could provide 20 per cent or more towards furloughed workers’ full-time salaries between August and October.

Mr Sunak is also expected to ask employers to pay national insurance and pension contributions too.

The measures are expected to apply to all sectors, but the Government has been urged to tailor its support to certain industries, like the hospitality sector.

The Chancellor could also ban new people from being furloughed in future, it was reported this week.

Paul Johnson, head of the Institute for Fiscal Studies, told The Times there would be some job losses on the cards.

He said: “It’s important to encourage employers to get employees back to work where they can.

“Where they can never get people back to work there is a cost of continuing to subsidise jobs that no longer exist. We need to start shaking out jobs that are gone.

“Make it too generous and you are in danger of slowing down the recovery by keeping people in non-existent jobs. Make it not generous enough and you are in danger of forcing people out of jobs that do have a long-term future.”