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The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced a further extension to the furlough scheme in his Budget speech on 3 March.

There had been hints that the scheme would be extended until the end of June (by which time it is currently anticipated that the restrictions on the economy will be lifted under the government's roadmap), but adding a further 3 months to the end of September is designed to provide continuing support for those sectors which may encounter a rather slow recovery.  

Under the extended scheme employees will continue to be guaranteed 80% of their salary capped at £2,500 until the end of June.  In July employers will be expected to contribute 10% of a furloughed employee's wages, which will rise to 20% in August and September.

The Chancellor also announced continued support for the self-employed, as well as measures for businesses hiring apprentices, which will receive £3,000 for each apprentice hired between 1 April and 30 September 2021.

An extra £1.65 billion will also be allocated to help the government reach its target of offering a first dose to every adult by 31 July.

For further information on the employment implications of the Budget please refer to our recent newsflash.