Employers may have to pay 25% of furloughed staff wages from August

Employers will be expected to pay at least a fifth of the wages of furloughed staff from August, it is claimed.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said 80% of workers’ salaries will be covered until October, as the government begins to kickstart the flailing economy amid the coronavirus crisis.

However, the Treasury is said to be considering asking businesses to cover between 20% and 30% of staff wages.

Companies may also be told to cough up for national insurance contributions, which are approximately 5% of people’s wages, according to The Times.

Firms will allegedly be allowed to bring furloughed workers back on a part-time basis, with the number of hours per week chosen by the employee.

Visit our live blog for the latest updates: Coronavirus news live

The new plans are reportedly expected to be announced next week, as the lifeline for workers costs the government £11 billion.

The Office for Budget Responsibility has cautioned that the total cost of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme could hit £80 billion.

Mr Sunak had previously warned employers would be expected to share the financial burden.

Speaking in the House of Commons earlier in May, he said: ‘Until the end of July there will be no changes whatsoever. Then from August to October, the scheme will continue for all sectors and regions of the UK but with greater flexibility to support the transition back to work.

‘Employers currently using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time. And we will ask employers to start sharing with the government the cost of paying people’s salaries.

‘Full details will follow by the end of May, but I want to assure people today of one thing that won’t change: workers will through the combined efforts of Government and employers continue to receive the same level of overall support as they do now at 80% of their current salary up to £2,500 a month.’

Analysis released earlier this month showed that 50% of British adults are now receiving some sort of funding from the state, as tens of millions across the country struggle amid the pandemic.

The most recent figures show that two million people have applied for Universal Credit since Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the UK lockdown in March.

If unemployed people are taken into account, as well as the 5.4 million public sector workers and 12 million people who receive a pension, the state now supports just over half the 52 million adults in the country.

The Chancellor has given a grave warning that the UK is likely to face a severe recession, the likes of which we haven’t seen’.

Mr Sunak said he hoped for a swift recovery, but it could take time for the UK economy to get back to normal.

The Treasury declined to comment when contacted by Metro.co.uk.

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Get the need-to-know coronavirus news, features and tips, right to your inbox.

Read More