The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme has been extended until the end of June, chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced today.
The scheme allows businesses to furlough employees whose jobs have all but disappeared during the coronavirus lockdown, with the government covering 80% of their wages up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
Sunak said: "We've taken unprecedented action to support jobs and businesses through this period of uncertainty, including the UK-wide Job Retention Scheme. With the extension of the coronavirus lockdown measures yesterday, it is the right decision to extend the furlough scheme for a month to the end of June to provide clarity.
"It is vital for people's livelihoods that the UK economy gets up and running again when it is safe to do so, and I will continue to review the scheme so it is supporting our recovery."
The scheme was originally announced in 20 March and opened for three months backdated to 1 March.
At the time the chancellor said he would extend the scheme if necessary.