Treasury extends cuts-off date for furlough scheme

The Treasury has extended the cut-off date for the coronavirus furlough scheme to cover thousands more workers at risk of losing their jobs.

Employers can now claim for furloughed employees who were employed and on their PAYE payroll on or before March 19 – the day before the scheme was announced.

Individuals originally had to be employed on February 28 2020 to qualify for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

The Treasury estimates the change will benefit more than 200,000 employees.

Under the scheme, employers can claim a grant covering 80% of the wages for a furloughed employee, up to £2,500 a month. It is expected to be fully operational next week.

Paymaster General Penny Mordaunt said she was sorry the changes had not been made sooner.

She tweeted: “This will help more people and is very welcome. Sorry it was not done sooner and know how worried people will have been.

“Hope to have an update on other Treasury matters soon.”