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News stories from the Chamber and related news are listed in the table below

UK Government Extend The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

13th May 2020

  • The scheme will be extended in full until the end of July. This will provide workers, businesses and the economy with clarity on the help they will receive.
  • From July, the Treasury will introduce more flexibility to the furlough scheme. The scheme will run for a further three months from August through to the end of October with two vital changes.
  • Employers currently using the scheme will have more flexibility to bring their furloughed employees back to work part time whilst still receiving support from the scheme.
  • The Treasury will ask employers using the scheme to start contributing some of the costs of their workers’ salaries, substituting part of the contribution that the government is currently making. SCC has asked for further details of what the employer’s contribution will look like, making sure it does not burden businesses with additional costs during the recovery period.
  • The Treasury have confirmed that employees will continue to receive the same level of overall support – 80% of their regular wages up to a monthly cap of £2,500.
  • This approach will apply across all regions and sectors of the UK economy. 

SCC has welcomed the UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement to extend the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme to protect jobs and livelihoods.

Dr Liz Cameron, Chief Executive of the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said:

“This is great news. Businesses and employees across Scotland will be extremely relieved by the Chancellor’s decision to extend the furlough scheme to October rather than face a cliff edge with its planned withdrawal at the end of June.

“This direct employee financial support has been a lifeline which has enabled many jobs to be retained rather than businesses having to face making massive redundancies. As we begin to consider a ‘return to workplace’ plan to restart the economy, flexibility in these schemes will be paramount to protecting jobs until businesses are able to trade normally once more.

“We look forward to seeing further detail on the proposed employers’ contribution. We would ask that this takes into consideration, particularly for SMEs, their ability to pay contributions depending on how quickly their income recovers as lock down eases. Trading conditions will differ depending on location and sector and the flexibility of the furlough scheme must take these factors on board.

“We will continue our engagement with the Treasury to make sure business support remains flexible and accessible for Scottish businesses.” 



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