Chancellor of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak has said the government is prepared to pay salaries of all employees unable to engage in legitimate business due to the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus.
According to him, the move, which has been described as radical is aimed at protecting people’s jobs.
The government is expected to pay 80% of salary for staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages of up to £2,500 a month amidst the outbreak.
He noted that the measures will stop workers from being laid off for not contributing to their respective companies due to the crisis.
“I know that people are worried about losing their jobs, about not being able to pay the rent or mortgage, about not having enough set by for food and bills… to all those at home right now, anxious about the days ahead, I say this: you will not face this alone,” Mr. Sunak said.
Meanwhile, firms have warned the virus could see them collapse, wiping out thousands of jobs, as life in the UK is put on hold.
It is understood that the wage subsidy will apply to firms where bosses have already had to lay off workers due to the coronavirus, as long as they are brought back into the workforce and instead granted a leave of absence.
The wages cover, which relates to gross pay, will be backdated to the start of March and last for three months, but Mr Sunak said he would extend the scheme for longer “if necessary”.
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