Rishi Sunak to Declare The Fate of UK Work Retention Scheme - Focus News

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Tuesday, 12 May 2020

Rishi Sunak to Declare The Fate of UK Work Retention Scheme



Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to disclose the future of the government job retention scheme in England as call has been made to its extension. 

According to the BBC  report, UK government is paying more than six million of people receiving up to 80% of their wages paid while they are temporarily on leave from their jobs.

Mr Sunak previously warned the furlough scheme, due to end in June, was not "sustainable" at its current rate.

While the government is encouraging people in England to return to work if safe. It was released Monday night, a publication that guides how a workplaces can be covid secured which includes the tasking employers to carry out risk assessment before they can reopen. 


However, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has condemned a sudden big flood of people returning to work and described the latest measures as a "baby step".  He said this in his Downing Street daily briefing on Monday.  

What is the government's furlough scheme?
The Deputy of Labour's leader Angela Rayner was of opinion that furlough scheme should continue unreduced because it is a lifeline for workers and employees during this lockdown. 

She told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that reducing the scheme too soon would "cost us in the long run".


This latest development to the scheme comes as the government continues to defend its return to work message, issued in its latest coronavirus guidance for England.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock told BBC Breakfast that ministers were being "incredibly cautious" about the changes, and insisted that everyone who can work from home should continue to do so "because obviously that's the safest place to work".

While asking Hancock whether people are protected by law if they felt unsafe in the workplace, he said,  employment law had not changed but that "businesses and employees should be working together to make the best of a very difficult situation."

Hancock also defended other changes to England's lockdown measures, outlined in the government's strategy document on the next steps in its coronavirus response.

Also when he was asked why people could go to garden centres but not meet a friend in their garden, standing 2m apart, Mr Hancock said that not everybody has a garden and not every garden was big enough.

He added that people who wish to meet with one other person from outside their household should only do so in public places, suggesting that a lot of people can only access their garden by going through their house - meaning they would be meeting indoors.

And, speaking on Today, Mr Hancock explained that the reason for asking people to meet with one person at a time was to avoid mass gatherings.

Nearly a quarter of the UK's workforce has been furloughed, with 80% of employee's wages - up to £2,500 a month - being paid by the government.

Mr Johnson said the initiative was "one of the most remarkable features of the government's response" and stressed "it is absolutely right that we should do it".

He said he did not want to steal his chancellor's thunder but added that Mr Sunak would update MPs on Tuesday.

Last week, Mr Sunak promised there would be no "cliff edge" cut-off.

Torsten Bell, chief executive of the Resolution Foundation think tank and an early advocate of the scheme, warned against it being removed too quickly and called for a "careful and gradual change" to the measure.

"Moving too quickly could spark a huge second surge in job losses at a time when unemployment already looks set to be at the highest level for a quarter of a century," he said.

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