The UK Government has reduced the amount it is paying to furloughed workers.
Furloughed workers have been paid 80% of their wages – up to £2,500 per month – by the UK Government as part of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).
However, from today (September 1), the government is now paying only 70% of wages – up to a maximum of £2,187.50 – with employers expected to pay the 10%.
From October, that figure will drop to 60%, up to a maximum of £1,785, with employers expected to cover 20% of wages.
The furlough scheme is set to come to an end in October, despite calls for it to be extended.
As of July 31, 22,000 jobs in Caerphilly County Borough had been furloughed, according to figures released by the Treasury.
Ben Francis, chair of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) Wales, said the end of furlough is “the most critical deadline” many businesses will ever face, and warned that businesses that are unable to pay wages by then will “face making some incredibly difficult decisions”.
He said: “Firms need to be given the best possible chance of a safe and successful reopening.
“By spending money with local, independent businesses, individuals can help a firm that is doing everything possible to keep staff and customers safe, protect local jobs and ensure their business has a sustainable future.”
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Mr Francis said the FSB was pushing for an extension to the UK Government’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, and called on Welsh Government to “provide targeted support for the tourism industry”.
Caerphilly MP Wayne David said it’s “quite disappointing” that government support for furlough is being reduced.
Mr David said: “I am telling the government in no uncertain terms that furloughing must continue or there will be huge job losses in Caerphilly Borough.
“The situation is very serious indeed.”
A HM Treasury spokesperson said: “We’ve been clear that that we can’t sustain this situation indefinitely and must now focus on providing fresh work opportunities for those in need across the UK.
“We will continue to support businesses bringing back staff through the £1,000 job retention bonus, while our Plan for Jobs will drive our economic recovery by creating new roles for young people and new incentives for training and apprenticeships.”
For the latest information on UK Government support schemes visit gov.uk/coronavirus/business-support
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