The Chancellor of the Exchequer has revealed a £9bn bonus scheme which will reward employers who bring back furloughed employees when the government's coronavirus job retention scheme ends.
In his summer statement delivered today (July 8) Rishi Sunak announced a new job retention policy which would see a £1,000 bonus paid to companies for each employee brought back from furlough.
But the chancellor said previously furloughed employees would need to continuously remain in work until at least January to qualify, and be paid at least £520 on average in each month from November to the beginning of next year.
Mr Sunak said: "One of the most important things we can do is to get as many people as possible off furlough and back into their jobs.
"So today we are introducing a new policy to reward and incentivise employers who successfully bring furloughed staff back - a new job retention bonus.
"If you are an employer and you bring someone back who was furloughed, and you continuously employee them through to January, we will pay you a £1,000 bonus per employee."
But the chancellor said it was vital people were not returning for jobs "for the sake of it" and must be doing "decent work" to qualify.
He added: "We will pay the bonus for all furloughed employees, so if employers bring back all nine million employees who have been furloughed this would be a £9bn policy to retain people in work.
"Our message to businesses is clear, if you stand by your workers, we will stand by you."
The government's Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme is set to end in October, having originally been intended to end in July, and as of next month employers will have to contribute towards paying those employees currently furloughed under the scheme.
In May the Personal Finance Society estimated 7 per cent of its members had been furloughed, equivalent to about 2,800 individuals across the UK.
Data from FundsNetwork suggested more than a third of advice firms furloughed staff as part of their cost cutting measures to mitigate against the impact of the coronavirus crisis
What do you think about the issues raised by this story? Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know.