To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what assessment he has made of the potential merits of delaying the obligation for businesses to contribute 10 per cent towards the cost of furloughed employees’ wages for the duration of the covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
The existing timetable to reintroduce employer contributions in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme aims to strike the right balance between supporting the economy as it opens up, continuing to protect incomes, and ensuring incentives are in place to get people back to work as demand returns.
In July, employers will therefore be asked to contribute 10% of wages for hours not worked up to £312.50 per month. This is the same approach that the Government successfully introduced last autumn, when comparable restrictions were in place and, as employees came off furlough, the vast majority returned to work. The economy is also in a stronger growth position now than it was last autumn, and the labour market is stronger too, with 5.5 million fewer people on furlough than in April 2020, and online job vacancy levels in June about 27% above February 2020 levels.