Chancellor Rishi Sunak has confirmed that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended until the end of October.
Speaking in the House of Commons this afternoon, Sunak confirmed that until the end of July there will be no changes to the scheme whatsoever, then from August to September the scheme will continue for all sectors and regions of the UK but with "greater flexibility".
Employers using the scheme will be able to bring furloughed employees back part-time, but will also be asked to share the cost of paying people's salaries with the government.
Full details will follow by the end of May but Sunak assured furloughed workers that they will continue receiving the same level of overall support through the combined efforts of employers and governments, meaning 80% of their salary up to £2,500 per month.
He said: "We stood behind Britain's workers and businesses as we came into this crisis, and we will stand behind them as we come through the other side."
UKHospitality chief executive Kate Nicholls said: "An extension of the scheme is a sensible, positive and timely move. The scheme has been a crucial lifeline for many businesses and employees. It has helped hospitality overcome the initial crisis, saved businesses and kept jobs open.
"We will now be actively engaging with Government about how the scheme will operate beyond July. The full 80% may need to be extended past July for some businesses in sectors like hospitality that will still operate at much reduced levels of trade, or not yet be able to open. Our businesses will need as much warning as possible if they are to be expected to plan ahead for eventual venue re-openings.
"Increased flexibility for hospitality will be equally vital. Hospitality businesses are not able to go from standstill to full capacity overnight. The additional flexibility being introduced to the scheme will allow our workers to return to work in a safer, graduated way – that is crucial to help the Government to safeguard public health, jobs and businesses."