With the government furlough scheme coming to a close by the end of this week, there lies a lot of uncertainty among as many as 1.6 million people who remain signed up to the support programme. Also known as the job retention scheme, it is a government support system for businesses, and allowed firms to get up to 80 per cent of staff wages to help them stay afloat during the pandemic.
The programme has been slowly wound down from July, with the level of support from the government slowly trickling down from that date. The government used to contribute 80 per cent of pay, up to a cap of £2,500 a month. It fell to 70 per cent, up to £2,187.50, from July 1. The government support later dropped again on August 1, to its current level of 60 per cent, capped at £1,875.
So far, the government has ruled out any prospects of extending the support, taking it as only a temporary measure. With the programme coming to an end, companies have three options. Employees could either be brought back to work on their agreed terms and conditions, or their employment could be terminated, or terms and conditions could be negotiated.