With more than 8m British workers now getting their wages paid via the government’s furlough scheme, the next challenge is how to wean companies off state support without causing a huge spike in unemployment.
Keen to avoid permanent “scarring” to the UK economy, chancellor Rishi Sunak has extended the government’s Job Retention Scheme and will also boost financial help for the self-employed — a support package that could cost nearly £100bn in total.
However, there are conditions attached to his largesse. Companies will be expected to shoulder more of the costs, although they will have greater flexibility to bring workers back part-time. The level of support for the self-employed will also be cut — even though millions of self-employed workers are not eligible to claim support.
This week on Claer Barrett’s Business Clinic, the FT’s personal finance editor discussed what the rule changes revealed last Friday mean for companies and self-employed workers. Joining her was Daniel Thomas, the FT’s executive news editor.
How will the new rules affect employers’ ability to retain staff? How much would trading need to recover from current levels in order to fund the level of contributions the chancellor has set out? And what do you think about the government’s plans for a new “job creation scheme”?
You can view the Q&A via the video link in this article, or watch on the FT’s YouTube channel or LinkedIn page.
Get alerts on UK employment when a new story is published