The furlough scheme has been extended until the end of March 2021, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has today (November 5) announced to the House of Commons.

Mr Sunak confirmed that, over the next five months, the UK government will pay 80 per cent of workers’ wages, up to £2,500 a month, with employers paying national insurance and pension contributions.

The news comes after England entered a second national lockdown today.

He said: “We can announce today that the furlough scheme will not be extended for one month, it will be extended until the end of March.

“The Government will continue to help pay people’s wages up to 80 per cent of the normal amount, all employers will have to pay for hours not worked is the cost of employer National Insurance Rates and Categories and pension contributions.

“We’ll review the policy in January to decide whether economic circumstances are improving enough to ask employers to contribute more.”

The Chancellor also announced additional support for self-employed people that are unable to work.

Self-employed people will be able to claim grants for up to £7,500 through the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.

The third grant, covering November to January, will now be calculated using 80 per cent of trading profits.

“We know what an incredibly difficult time it has been for self-employed workers across the country. We are determined to support them,” Mr Sunak explained.

“These measures will mean people will receive more money in their back pockets, faster, to help them through the winter months ahead.”

Applications for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will open November 30.

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