Boris Johnson says staying on furlough forever 'not healthy for Brits or the economy'

BORIS Johnson has warned that the nation can't stay on furlough forever – as it's "not healthy" for them or the economy.

The PM is being urged to extend the furlough scheme beyond October for parts of the economy which are unable to open up again.

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The mayor of Leicester, which has been put into the first local lockdown, has asked for support offered earlier in the pandemic to be restored in the city.

The Government has confirmed that people will be able to be put back on furlough in the city – for as long as the scheme lasts.

From July Brits are able to be furloughed part-time, and employers will have to start paying contributions from August.

In an interview with the Evening Standard today the PM said it was time to be “absolutely frank” and say to Britons that staying at home is “not, in the long-term, healthy either for the economy or for you”.

He refused to be drawn on whether the scheme would be extended.

“I’ve got to be very, very blunt with you," he said.

“We’ve spent £120 billion supporting people, it’s a huge commitment and we have put our arms around people.

"The best way forward for us now is to work together to beat the virus and get the economy back on its feet."

He said: “I think people need to recognise that the particular restrictions that furlough places on you are not, in the long term, healthy either for the economy or for you as an employee.”

He is clear it cannot keep being extended, telling the paper: “You are keeping people in suspended animation. You are stopping them from actually working.

"I am being absolutely frank with you, we are pushing it out until October but in the end you have got to get the economy moving.”

During a speech in Dudley earlier this week, the PM also stressed: "We want to get back to life as normal for as many as possible, as fast as possible."

How does the furlough scheme work?

ANY UK organisation with employees can apply to furlough their workers, including businesses, charities, recruitment agencies and public authorities.

It’s up to your place of work to apply to the scheme, meaning you won’t need to contact the government yourself.

To access the scheme, your employer must comply with the following:

  • Designate employees who cannot do their jobs due to the coronavirus measures put in place by the government
  • Notify those employees of their new “furloughed” status
  • Submit information to HMRC about furloughed employees to set up a system for reimbursement and about existing systems that will facilitate payments

To be furloughed, you must have been on a payroll on March 19.

Workers can ask previous employers to rehire and furlough them, even if they left for another job, but firms don’t have to do this.

The furlough scheme did, however, close to new applicants on June 10.

From September, employers will have to pay those contributions plus 10 per cent of salaries.

Then from October they will have to pay those contributions plus 20 per cent of salaries.

We've put together a guide to how furlough affects you, including pay, annual leave rights and how it works if you're on maternity or sick leave.

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