One-month extension for furlough scheme

The Government has extended its furlough scheme that is keeping millions of employees in jobs until the end of June.

Following last week's confirmation that the UK will remain locked down until at least the 7 May 2020, the job retention scheme is to stay open until 30 June 2020.

Both the lockdown measures and the furlough scheme remain under constant review and could be extended further if necessary.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:

"With the extension of the lockdown measures, it is right 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."

Employers that began furloughing staff last month have begun to apply for help with their wage bills, with April's payroll looming for many.

The Treasury said more than 140,000 firms applied for emergency funds in the first eight hours of the scheme opening on 20 April 2020.

The scheme funds 80% of workers' wages, up to £2,500 a month, if they were put on leave after 1 March 2020.