The President of leading business organisation, the South Wales Chamber of Commerce, has responded to the announcement that the government’s furlough scheme has been extended.

Following Chancellor Rishi Sunaks announcement that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will continue until October, President of the South Wales Chamber of Commerce Paul Slevin said: This is great news for the millions of workers currently furloughed. The scheme has been a lifeline to both employees and employers; providing workers with job security and a regular income while bosses can protect their businesses by reducing overheads. 

While there was some speculation that the government would reduce payments to 60% of average wages, the decision to maintain current levels is the right one and will ensure no-one is rushed into going back to work without the necessary security measures in place.

The added flexibility offered from August will allow workers to return, where possible, part time and ask employers to help contribute to the costs. 

Although an extremely costly scheme for the government, the alternatives, even half measures, could have been detrimental to the Welsh economy and taken years to recover from.

We welcome the latest announcement and wait to hear further clarifications from the government at the end of May.

For an up-to-date list of resources for businesses, visit the South Wales Chamber of Commerce Coronavirus hub