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Furlough scheme to be tapered off

The Chancellor has announced plans to end the eight-month coronavirus job retention scheme (CJRS) and self-employed income support scheme (SEISS), with taxpayers’ contributions gradually withdrawn from August

The furlough scheme will continue in its current guise, paying 80% of employees’ wages up to £2,500 with no employer contribution. But from August employers’ will be expected to pay a “modest contribution”

At first, the Chancellor explained, employers will only have to cover national insurance and employer contributions, which he said accounts for 5% of total employment costs.

The main change comes into force from September when the government furlough contribution drops from 80% to 70%, with the employer having to pick up the 10%. Sunak reasoned that from this point, “employers will have had the opportunity to make any necessary changes to their workplaces and business practices”

Then in October, the final stage of the furlough scheme, employers will have to pay 20%, with the government’s contribution shrinking to 60%. After this, the government contributions will finish, and the scheme will come to an end

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