The government’s coronavirus job retention scheme has been extended by four months until the end of October.
Chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak made the announcement in the House of Commons today (May 12), when he said there would be no changes to the scheme until the end of July.
At present, it allows businesses to put employees on leave, with the government paying 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 per month.
From August to October, this will be adapted to allow employers to bring furloughed employees back to work part time.
The chancellor said that employees will still receive 80% of their salary, up to £2,500 a month, but after July this cost will be shared with employers.
Further details on will be announced by the end of May.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Sunak said: "Until the end of July there will no changes whatsoever. Then from August to October the scheme will continue for all sectors and regions of the UK, but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work.
"Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part time and we will ask employers to start sharing with the government the cost of sharing people’s salaries.
"Full details will follow by the end of May, but I want to assure people today of one thing that won’t change. Workers will, through the combined effort of government and employers, continue to receive the same level of overall support as they do now, at 80% of their current salary up to 2,500 a month."
The announcement follows widespread calls from within theatre leaders to ensure the furlough scheme is extended to the sector for as long as theatres remain closed, with chief executive of Leicester Curve Chris Stafford describing it as a "lifeline for the industry".
No announcement has been made as to whether the government’s support scheme for self-employed workers will be extended.