To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on greater flexibility in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme for industries where demand is unpredictable.
13 May 2020
The Government has extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme until October 2020. Extending the scheme in its current form until July will provide workers, businesses and the economy with clarity on this vital support. After July, the Government will introduce more flexibility to the furlough scheme in a measured way that protects people’s incomes and helps support furloughed employees as they return to work. From August through to the end of October, employers currently using the scheme will have more flexibility to bring their furloughed employees back to work part-time while still receiving support from the scheme. Employers using the scheme will start contributing some of the costs of their workers’ salaries, substituting in part the contribution that the Government is currently making. The Government will outline more details of how this will work by the end of May.
It is the case that some firms will be affected by coronavirus for longer than others, and the Government will seek to support these firms appropriately. It would be challenging to target the CJRS to specific sectors in a fair and deliverable way, and it may not be the case that this is the most effective or sensible way to provide longer term support for those sectors most affected by coronavirus.
The Government will continue to monitor developments and engage with affected sectors, with the aim of ensuring that support provided is right for these sectors and for the economy as a whole.