Chancellor Rishi Sunak outlines major changes to the furlough scheme

Employers will be asked to pay towards furloughed staff salaries from August and the furlough scheme will end after October.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the changes to the furlough scheme in the daily national briefing.

Businesses will be expected to contribute to staff salaries from August, increasing in September and October and then after eight months the furlough scheme will stop at the end of October.

He said: "As we reopen the economy, there is broad consensus across the political and economic spectrum, the furlough scheme cannot continue indefinitely.”

Companies must pay national insurance for furloughed staff from August. By September employers will pay 10% of workers' salaries and in October employers will pay 20%.

Mr Sunak said: “In June and July the scheme will continue as before with no employer contribution at all.

“In August, the taxpayer contribution to people’s wages will stay at 80%.

“Employers will only be asked to pay National Insurance and employer pension contributions, which, for the average claim, account for just 5% of total employment costs.”

Mr Sunak explained that a new flexible furlough programme will start in July as the government looks to wean the country's workforce off economic support.

The Chancellor said the Job Retention Scheme has now supported more than a million jobs and over a million businesses.