Scotland's economy secretary has said there is a "strong case" for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) to be extended past October, specifically highlighting the tourism and hospitality sector.
Speaking on the economy, energy and fair work committee yesterday, Fiona Hyslop (pictured above left) said: "There might have to be additional support beyond October in relation to some sectors, and I have written to the chancellor specifically about the tourism and hospitality area."
She said she had asked for "flexibility to help people gradually restart" and said tourism was an area that "will require longer-term support".
"Margins will be really challenging and we really need to keep that capacity," she added. "It's not just about being able to physically distance and provide that service, it's about doing it in a way that keeps your business going."
The CJRS is UK-wide. From August, all employers will need to pay furloughed employees' National Insurance and pension contributions, and in September they will need to contribute 10% towards wages, rising to 20% in October, before the scheme closes.
However, Scottish operators have raised concerns that although in England areas of hospitality have been given a provisional reopening date of 4 July, no such date has been given in Scotland, where businesses could reopen later but still be expected to contribute towards staff costs.
Pubs and restaurants will be able to open outdoor spaces during the second phase of lockdown easing. In the third phase pubs and restaurants will be able to open indoor spaces and restrictions on hotels and B&Bs will be relaxed.