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Commenting on the government’s announcement this evening (Tuesday) that the job retention scheme will continue until the end of September, with reduced rates of support from July, TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“Extending furlough is vital to protect jobs and businesses. The chancellor should have announced it earlier, and should now promise it will last as long as needed to secure the recovery.

“Reducing support to employers in July, just as restrictions end, will risk jobs. The job retention scheme should be available until at least the end of the year.  And without specific support, the hardest-hit sectors – like hospitality, retail, the creative industries, travel and aviation - will struggle to reopen fully.

“More support for self-employed workers is long overdue, and we will scrutinise the details to make sure they are getting a fair deal.

“To make sure everyone can return to a decent job, ministers should promote training for those on furlough. The chancellor should also make sure all furloughed workers get at least the national minimum wage.

“Protecting existing jobs is only half the battle. The chancellor must now deliver a major programme of job creation in his Budget.”

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