Furlough extension: What would happen if furlough ended? Other options

Boris Johnson grilled on protecting businesses and furlough

Furlough has supported employers and their workers for nearly a year, as Rishi Sunak introduced the aid in March 2020. Since then, various updates have pushed it through further national restrictions, covering varying amounts of people’s incomes. But the Chancellor of the Exchequer is yet to reveal whether it will continue beyond its official end date in April.

What would happen if furlough ended?

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is an incentive for workplaces to keep on their employees when doing so without support could cause losses.

Companies which sign up can guarantee Government support for their employees, covering up to 80 percent of their income.

Ending furlough would leave millions of people without this support, and potentially result in mass unemployment.

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Among those issuing warnings for the Chancellor is Frances Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress (TUC).

Ms Grady urged him to announce a continuation of furlough before the budget in March and extend it at least to the end of the year.

She told the Guardian unemployment rates could surge to levels not seen since the 1980s.

She said: “It would be a dereliction of duty of any Government [to end furlough].

“Nobody should think it is responsible or acceptable for any government to consign people to the dole queues.

“The Government must understand we need to work our way back to growth, and for that we need people in jobs.

“Otherwise we are going to end up with real, deep economic and social problems.”

Without the retention scheme, companies may not be able to support their workers, resulting in redundancies.

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What other financial supports does the Government provide?

For people currently redundant, the Government provides the following benefits, some of which have received a Covid boost:

  • Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Universal Credit
  • Pension Credit

People who cannot work may also receive the following benefits:

  • New Style Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)
  • One-off isolation pay
  • Carers Allowance

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