Jobs Support Scheme: U.K. Joins Nations in Fighting to Help Workers

Pandemic Hit Economy in Regional British Town

Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg

Governments facing a choice between supporting jobs or letting the economy take its course in the pandemic are frequently opting to back their workers, even if measures may only offer temporary relief. U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak’s introduction of a new six-month scheme to subsidize wages of people in part-time work, even as an earlier program was being phased out, is just one example of a global phenomenon.

1. What’s the U.K. doing?

Sunak has announced a new jobs support program to succeed the furlough policy, which was due to end on Oct. 31 and has supported more than 9 million jobs at a cost of 39 billion pounds ($50 billion). Under the furlough program, the government paid people who were unable to return to their workplaces because of Covid restrictions as much as 80% of their wages. The replacement policy will

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The Des Moines public school system is fighting a state mandate to reopen its school buildings.

The Des Moines Public Schools system sued Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) and other state officials in late August after Reynolds mandated that nearly all schools in the state reopen. Des Moines school officials believe it is still not safe to send children and teachers back to classrooms, pointing to the state’s surge in coronavirus cases.

“No circumstances in our lifetimes have had a greater impact on the ability of school districts to operate safely than the COVID-19 global health pandemic,” school officials wrote in the lawsuit. “This is literally a matter of life and death.”

Tuesday, the judge denied the school district’s request to suspend the mandate while the legal challenge makes its way through the courts. The ruling means that if the school system does not offer face-to-face instruction to all students, it could be in violation of state law.

Schools Superintendent Thomas Ahart said Tuesday in a statement

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