Firms face ‘cliff edge’ with lay-offs after Christmas

Commuters as business leaders sound the alarm over jobs. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images
Commuters as business leaders sound the alarm over jobs. Photo: Tolga Akmen/AFP via Getty Images

Business groups have warned UK employers face a “cliff edge” as government support is cut back this winter, risking a fresh wave of job losses after Christmas.

Three leading business figures sounded the alarm over chancellor Rishi Sunak’s new job support scheme on Tuesday, with fears employers will still not be able to prevent lay-offs.

Sunak has resisted pressure to extend the job protection scheme, which saw millions of staff furloughed across the economy when the coronavirus and lockdown first hit. Last month he instead announced a new wage subsidy scheme from November, on top of a ‘job retention bonus’ for firms keeping furloughed staff.

Employers’ contributions are significantly higher under the new initiative, with organisations expected to pay more than half workers’ typical wages for only a third of their hours.

Watch: What are

Read More