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UK furlough scheme now covers 8.4 million workers

Rishi Sunak

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AFP

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said the furlough scheme will run until the end of October

Some 8.4 million workers are now covered by the government’s furlough scheme, up from eight million a week earlier, the Treasury has said.

Claims for subsidies filed by employers rose to £15bn from £11.1bn, it added.

The scheme, brought in to mitigate the effects of coronavirus, allows employees to receive 80% of their monthly salary up to £2,500.

A similar scheme for self-employed workers saw 2.3 million claims made worth £6.8bn.

The Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, as it is known, differs from the furlough scheme because it is a grant paid out in a single instalment covering three months and amounting to 80% of average profit.

The furlough scheme, officially called the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, was originally intended to last until the end of July, but has now been extended until the end of October.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed that it will continue to provide the same level of earnings, but has said the government will ask companies to “start sharing” the cost of the scheme from August.

Sources have told the BBC the Treasury stills expects to be paying more than half the costs between August and October.

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