Coronavirus: Blanket removal of furlough scheme risks ‘python-like’ squeeze on jobs

A blanket withdrawal of the government’s furlough scheme threatens to put a “python-like” squeeze on jobs in areas of the economy hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic, the chancellor has been warned.Rishi Sunak risks making a “historic mistake” unless he abandons his “one-size-fits-all” approach to the phasing out of financial support, Labour has said.However, the government has rejected the criticism and said the “unprecedented” employment assistance during the COVID-19 crisis was “comprehensive and generous”. The opposition urged action ahead of the start of the staged ending of the job retention scheme, set up as part of the emergency response to the coronavirus, which led to a nationwide lockdown.Employers will having to begin paying National Insurance and pension contributions for their staff from 1 August. Advertisement In September, companies will have to pay 10% of furloughed employees’ salaries, rising to 20% in October when the scheme finishes.The chancellor has also offered to give a £1,000 bonus for each worker that companies bring back from furlough and employ through to January next year, although critics warn such incentives “look too small to be effective given the uncertainty about the economic outlook”. More from Covid-19 Coronavirus: Lockdown easing postponed and masks to be… Read full this story

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