The government are to extend the furlough scheme throughout the duration of November after it was announced that the UK is heading back into a national lockdown.
Furlough sees the government pay 80% of the wages for workers who are in industries that have been forced to close, with workers in all non-essential shops, as well as restaurants and bars without a takeaway service being forced to shut throughout November.
The scheme had been in place since March and has helped thousands of workers across the United Kingdom who have been unable to work due to the pandemic.
Speaking at a press conference last night, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said;
“We are going to extend the furlough system through November. The furlough scheme was a success in the spring and supported people in businesses in a critical time. We will not end it, we will extend furlough until December.”
Originally, the government had announced that the furlough scheme would end on 31st October, despite calls from across Parliament for the scheme to be extended, but the new national lockdown has meant that the government were forced to change course.
According to reports, many MPs within his own party were unaware of the government’s plan to extend furlough. Members of his Cabinet were also reportedly kept in the dark, despite the Prime Minister holding a cabinet meeting via Zoom just hours before the announcement.
Furlough will cover 80% of peoples wages up to a maximum of £2,500 for the duration of November. Although the Scottish, Northern Irish and Welsh governments are taking a different course on lockdown, the support will be available across the UK.
There is also a package of support to businesses who have been forced to close, with grants worth up to £3,000 per month being offered under a Local Restrictions Support Grant, whilst a further £1.1 billion will be given to local authorities for one-off payments to support businesses.
The mortgage repayment holidays have also been extended, with people entitled to up to six months worth of holiday on their repayments without it affecting their credit score.