Decision on ending the furlough scheme expected this weekend

A final decision is expected this weekend on how and when the government’s leave arrangements will be phased out.

Talks on the future of the precious support program will take place ahead of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap announcement on Sunday, the Financial Times says.

At least 6.3 million people are currently paid up to 80% of their salary by the taxpayer under the leave scheme in the amount of around £ 8 billion.

Earlier this week, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said he was preparing to “wean” workers and companies from the program out of concern that the nation would become “addicted” to it.

But the paper said there are concerns that a discontinuation of the scheme in June could jeopardize millions of jobs “if companies were forced to open in a weakened economic situation after the closure has ended.”

The Financial Times added that ministers have signaled the possibility of the scheme being abolished in the coming months instead “while also providing more flexibility so that some workers may return part-time initially”.

Craig Beaumont, director of external affairs at the Federation of Small Businesses, told the newspaper: “We really hope progress is made with part-time leave, as smaller companies in particular benefit from being able to quote for new work, keep in touch with employees and pay their bills. ”