The British government has extended its furlough job retention scheme from the end of June to the end of October as it continues to support British workers through the coronavirus pandemic.
UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak revealed the extension in Parliament on Tuesday, making clear that it will continue to cover 80% of furloughed employees’ wages up to £2,500 a month. It will, however, ask employers to start sharing in the cost from August.
Countless TV and film companies are among the 1M organizations in the UK to have taken advantage of the scheme, which has provided a monthly salary for 7.5M people.
British broadcaster ITV announced last week that it had furloughed 800 employees, while Discovery and Liberty Global-owned production giant All3Media has put more than 300 freelancers on the scheme. Disney also furloughed crew on The Little Mermaid.
Sunak said that from August, “greater flexibility” will be built into the initiative to support people’s return to work. This will include employers being able to bring those on the scheme back to work on a part-time basis. “We will ask employers to start sharing with the government the cost of paying people’s salaries,” Sunak added.
The phased approach to winding down the furlough initiative comes as Deadline revealed today that film and TV shoots are being encouraged to resume as soon as possible as part of government efforts to get people back to work safely.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.