Coronavirus: Employers to pay up to 30% furloughed wages

Manual worker talking with supervisor inside factory warehouse. Credit: Getty.

Employers will be expected to pay up to 30% of furloughed wages from August, in new plans drawn up by the government.

The Treasury will be asking businesses to cover 20% to 30% of people's wages in the job retention scheme, according to a report in The Times.

The initiative was extended by four months on 12 May in a bid to prop up the UK economy during the coronavirus pandemic.

 “The Treasury has drawn up plans that would require employers to cover between 20% and 30% of people’s wages,” The Times reported.

“They would also be required to cover the cost of employer’s national insurance contributions, on average 5% of wages.”

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Chancellor Rishi Sunak declined to comment on the report but is expected to announce the changes next week.

He previously said the furlough scheme would be in place until at least October with companies asked to "share" the cost from the start of August.

The support package pays 80% of a worker's salary, up to a maximum of £2,500 ($3,041.92) a month. It currently supports 7.5 million UK jobs but the chancellor said earlier this month that he was preparing to "wean" employees and business off the programme before the nation became "addicted" to it.

Sunak said on Friday that Britain was facing a “very serious economic crisis” and jobs would be lost in the “days, weeks and months to come”.