Furlough hope? Sunak to unveil plan to 'protect jobs through winter'

  • Furlough hope? Sunak to unveil plan to 'protect jobs through winter'

Furlough hope? Sunak to unveil plan to 'protect jobs through winter'

Sunak, meanwhile, was also likely to extend the Treasury's business support loans programme to help companies affected by the coronavirus pandemic, the Financial Times reported late on Sunday.

He said: "As our response to coronavirusadapts, tomorrow afternoon I will update the House of Commons on our plans to continue protecting jobs through the winter".

Calls have ramped up for a new lifeline for firms after Boris Johnson announced six months of tougher restrictions that threaten the economic recovery, as fears also grow of mass unemployment once the furlough scheme ends on October 31.

TUC general secretary Frances O'Grady said: "We have published detailed proposals for a new short-time working and upskilling scheme".

"With the right approach we can stop mass unemployment scarring millions".

The government has come under increasing pressure to extend or replace the furlough scheme, which helped prevent mass unemployment as the United Kingdom plunged into the deepest recession since before the second world war.

It has been rumoured that a short-term working scheme - which would see the government pay half of the wages of staff working part time for the hours they are not at work - could replace the job retention scheme.

Under plans being drawn up by the Treasury, the business loan schemes will be extended for applications until the end of November, with banks allowed to process loans until the end of the year.

The furlough scheme, which has cost the government £39.3bn to date, expires at the end of October.

More than £13 billion has been handed to firms and workers through five different Government support schemes in the last month.

On being asked whether the German-style scheme was being considered, a government spokesman said on Wednesday: "We've always said that we will keep our support under review and that it would be adapted as the circumstances evolve, but there is a huge amount of support available and that continues to be the case".

John Phillips, acting general secretary of the GMB union added, "Other countries have made a head start in offering support, protection and reassurance to industries as our economy stands on the edge of the abyss".

He promised "creative and imaginative" action to protect jobs as he faced calls for a fresh economic rescue package after unveiling new coronavirus restrictions yesterday (see video above).

The most recent official figures show around 5 million people were still relying on the job support programme for some or all of their income at the end of July, concentrated in the hospitality and entertainment sectors.