From the start of August, furloughed workers will be able to return to work part-time with employers being asked to pay a percentage towards the salaries of their furloughed staff.
The employer payments will substitute the contribution the government is currently making, ensuring that staff continue to receive 80 per cent of their salary, up to £2,500 a month.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: “Our Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has protected millions of jobs and businesses across the UK during the outbreak – and I’ve been clear that I want to avoid a cliff edge and get people back to work in a measured way.
“This extension and the changes we are making to the scheme will give flexibility to businesses while protecting the livelihoods of the British people and our future economic prospects.”
New statistics published today revealed the job retention scheme has protected 7.5 million workers and almost one million businesses.
Brendan Clarke-Smith, MP for Bassetlaw, said: “The extension of the Job Retention Scheme will be welcomed by businesses across Bassetlaw.
“The scheme is a lifeline which has been hugely beneficial in helping small employers keep their staff in work and shows that the chancellor is listening to them.”
The scheme will continue in its current form until the end of July and the changes to allow more flexibility will come in from the start of August.
The chancellor’s decision to extend the scheme, which will continue to apply across all regions and sectors in the UK economy, comes after the government outlined its plan for the next phase of its response to the coronavirus outbreak.