Live Q&A: The future of furlough schemes

With more than 8m British workers now getting their wages paid via the government’s furlough scheme, the next challenge is how to wean companies off state support without causing a huge spike in unemployment.

Keen to avoid permanent “scarring” to the UK economy, chancellor Rishi Sunak has extended the government’s Job Retention Scheme and will also boost financial help for the self-employed — a support package that could cost nearly £100bn in total.

However, there are conditions attached to his largesse. Companies will be expected to shoulder more of the costs, although they will have greater flexibility to bring workers back part-time. The level of support for the self-employed will also be cut — even though millions of self-employed workers are not eligible to claim support.

This week on Claer Barrett’s Business Clinic, the FT’s personal finance editor will discuss what the rule changes revealed last Friday mean for companies and self-employed workers.

Live Q&A

Tune in at 12 noon UK time on Tuesday June 2 to hear Claer speaking to Daniel Thomas, the FT’s executive news editor, about how the chancellor plans to dial down emergency support in favour of a “national effort” to create jobs and build a new economy. Add your comments and questions below this article.

If you’re running a business, we want to hear from you. How will the new rules affect your ability to retain staff? How much would trading need to recover from current levels in order to fund the level of contributions the chancellor has set out? And what do you think about the government’s plans for a new “job creation scheme”?

If you have a question to put to the experts about any aspect of the furlough scheme extension, help for the self-employed or how the new flexibilities will work in practice, please leave a comment below.

You can view the live Q&A at 12 noon UK time via the video link in this article, or watch on the FT’s YouTube channel or LinkedIn page.

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