The government has extended its furlough scheme until the end of October, chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced.
Under the scheme, the government has agreed to subsidise up to 80% of wages, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month in order to protect jobs.
The scheme will remain unchanged until the end of July, but from August onwards employers will be asked to share the cost of paying salaries with the government.
They will also be able to bring back furloughed employees to work part-time.
Sunak said further details of changes to the scheme will be shared by the end of May, but said that there will be no changes for workers on the scheme, who will still receive 80% of their salary until the end of October.
The four-month extension means that the government will have provided a total of eight months of support, which Sunak said: “provides, I think, a very good and generous runway for businesses and firms to plan against and indeed to start getting back to work when the time is right”.