UK Finance Minister announces emergency employment program


UK Finance Minister Rishi Sunak has announced a new set of emergency measures to contain unemployment, replacing the country’s holiday program which is due to expire next month.The employment support program will directly increase the wages of employees working fewer hours due to declining demand from businesses, allowing workers to keep their jobs for shorter hours rather than being made redundant. It will last six months from November.

Employees must work at least one-third of their regular hours and be paid for this work normally, but the government will increase wages to cover the remaining two-thirds of compensation. The program will target all small and medium-sized businesses in the UK, although large companies may be eligible if they experienced a drop in turnover during the crisis.

“I can’t save all the businesses, I can’t save all the jobs, no Chancellor (of the Exchequer) could, but what we can and must do is address the real issues facing them. businesses and employees are facing it now, ”Sunak said Thursday in the House of Commons.

The leave program subsidized 80% of the wages of millions of workers made redundant as a result of the pandemic, but Sunak confirmed in July that it would be phased out when the country began breaking out of lockdowns, offering instead to companies a bonus program for employees on leave returned to work.

However, while many of these workers have been employed by the hospitality industry and the government is now forced to reintroduce some restrictions due to a spike in Covid-19 infections, economists have warned the country could face to a sharp increase in unemployment in the fourth. trimester.

Employers who keep staff on leave for shorter hours can now benefit from both the employment support program and the job maintenance bonus.

Earlier this week, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a 10 p.m. curfew for reception venues in an attempt to contain the spread of the virus. The UK reported 6,178 cases on Wednesday, up from 1,252 since Tuesday and bringing its total of confirmed cases to 412,000.

Last week, the Bank of England gave its first indication that negative interest rates could be considered as it seeks to play its role in consolidating the economy against the fallout from the pandemic as GDP has fell a record 20.4% second quarter.

“Financial markets widely welcomed Chancellor Sunak’s speech, triggering a brief surge in business activity,” said Giles Coghlan, chief currency analyst at HYCM.

“However, this will likely be short lived, and I foresee a general pullback towards safe-haven assets and cash savings as investors seek to hedge against market uncertainty. “


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here