Government 'open minded' about furlough extension

By Emily Hawkins contact

- Last updated on GMT

Furlough calls: Cabinet Office minister Micheal Gove has said the UK government is remaining 'open minding' about extending the job support scheme (image: Drazen Zigic / Getty)
Furlough calls: Cabinet Office minister Micheal Gove has said the UK government is remaining 'open minding' about extending the job support scheme (image: Drazen Zigic / Getty)

Related tags: Furlough, Scotland, Wales, England, Staff, Coronavirus, lockdown, Legislation

The Government is “open minded” over extending furlough beyond September, a minister has said.

Cabinet Office minister Micheal Gove made the comments on BBC’s Good Morning Scotland​ in response to SNP calls to extend the scheme.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said she would like to see the e Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) extended "for as long as it is needed".

The scheme covers up to 80% of an employee's salary for the hours they cannot work, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the leaders of the three devolved administrations met virtually to discuss the UK’s recovery from the pandemic yesterday.

Employment data

Data on furlough claims for up to 30 April shows the extent that pubs and bars were able to take workers off furlough as outdoor dining was allowed to resume on 12 April. 

The accommodation and food service sector has the highest value of claims under the scheme at £5.1bn at 30 April 2020.

What’s more, the sector had the highest take-up rate at 31 March 2021 at 67% of eligible employers putting staff on furlough. 

Provisional estimates from HMRC show this decreased to 64% of employers at 30 April 2021, highlighting that many venues were unable to reopen at this stage of lockdown easing.

There were 1.11m employments on furlough in the sector at 31 March which decreased to a provisional estimate of 932,600 at 30 April.

Calls for support

The industry peaked at 1.65m employments on furlough on 10 April 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic. 

Trade bodies have written to the Chancellor and business secretary urging early confirmation that restrictions on pubs will be removed from Monday 21 June.

The British Institute of Innkeeping (BII), the British Beer and Pub Association (BBPA) and UKHospitality (UKH) said uncertainty over the roadmap had “impacted momentum in confidence, trade and employment".

There has been uncertainty over the fourth and final lockdown easing step, after rising cases of a Delta variant of coronavirus.

Related topics: Legislation

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