The Prime Minister has ruled out extending the furlough scheme beyond September.
It comes as the Job Retention Scheme - otherwise known as furlough - has saved millions of jobs during the pandemic.
Since the country was plunged into the first national lockdown in March 2020, the government has paid workers using the Job Retention Scheme up to £2,500 a month.
The government used to contribute 80% towards pay packets while employers could choose whether to pay an extra 20 percent wage top up - but they did not have to.
From July 2021, government contributions will fall to 70 per cent and in August and September the government will only pay 60 per cent towards wages.
So when will the furlough scheme payments stop and who can still claim?
When will furlough be extended to?
Changes to the furlough scheme are due to be introduced from July 1, with employers having to pick up 10% of their furloughed workers’ salaries.
Under the original road map plan, all measures were due to have been scrapped on June 21 but Boris Johnson opted to delay by a month in a bid to vaccinate more of the population against the Delta variant.
The final stage of the road map has since been pushed back until July 19.
The furlough contribution from employers is due to rise after that date to 20% in August and September, with the scheme closing before October.
The SNP is leading calls for furlough to be extended beyond September, in recognition that some sectors would struggle to get back up and running after months of closures.
But Mr Johnson said that the UK had the “highest and strongest” immunity against the Delta mutation and argued there was no need for furlough to continue.
SNP health spokeswoman Dr Philippa Whitford (Central Ayrshire) said: “Due to his failure to maintain strict border quarantine and the delay in adding India to the red list, cases of the Delta variant are surging across the UK.
“As well as a marked regional variation, the biggest ongoing impact is on sectors such as hospitality, entertainment and aviation.
“So rather than starting to reduce financial support, will the Prime Minister agree to extend full furlough and business support beyond September, particularly for those geographical areas and businesses which are most affected?”
Mr Johnson replied: “No, because although the Delta variant is indeed seeded and growing in at least 74 countries around the world, including this one, this is the only country or the country where the protection by immunity against the Delta variant is the highest and the strongest.
“And that’s why we’re going to continue with our cautious but irreversible road map and I hope it will command her support.”
Who can still claim for furlough?
Employers can still claim furlough payments for their workers, as long as they have been employed through the PAYE system.
Employers can still furlough employees for any amount of time and any work pattern, known as flexible furlough, or they can fully furlough their workers.
Employers are still able to claim the grant for the hours their employees have not worked.
But pension contributions and National Insurance must still be paid for.
If you are furloughed, you cannot work for the company, even if you want to. However, you can still take part in training, as long as you’re not providing a service or helping towards making money for your employer. If you’re contractually allowed, you can work for another company.
Though, from 1 July, businesses are able to bring furloughed employees back to work part-time while still claiming a flexible furlough grant from the government.
Here bosses will pay for days worked while the government will pay the remainder – although it is imperative employers and employees must have a new formal agreement and keep a written record of their flexible furlough arrangement.
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