The furlough scheme will be extended until September, Chancellor Rishi Sunack will announce when he unveils the Budget today (Weds 3 March).
The scheme pays 80 per cent of employees' wages for the hours they cannot work due to the coronavirus pandemic, and has protected more than 11 million jobs since it first began.
Furlough scheme to be extended
The Chancellor will deliver his Budget statement to the Commons at around 12.30pm today, where he will outline a three-point plan which aims to support people through the next few months and rebuild the economy.
Although Mr Sunak will announce that the furlough scheme will be extended until the end of September as part of this, the plan is that the Government’s contribution will begin to be tapered off, with employers expected to pay 10 per cent towards the hours their staff do not work in July.
Employee contribution will then increase to 20 per cent in August and September as the scheme - which was due to finish at the end of April - begins to wind down.
However, employees will still continue to receive 80 per cent of their salary for hours not worked until the scheme comes to an end.
Alongside the extension of the furlough scheme, further support for self-employed workers is set to be announced in the Budget, with more than 600,000 people to be eligible for cash grants.
A fourth grant from the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be available to claim from April, which will be worth 80 per cent of three months’ average trading profits up to £7,500. The Chancellor is also expected to announce details of a fifth grant.
According to the Treasury, hundreds of thousands more people will be eligible for the grants this time, due to tax return data for the year 2019/20 now being available.