The U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak unveiled an emergency jobs program on Thursday as part of a wider ‘winter economy plan’ to stave off mass unemployment.
The program, replacing the job furlough one, will see the government support “viable jobs” by topping up the wages of workers on reduced hours in a bid to encourage businesses to retain staff.
It comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced tighter COVID-19 restrictions, including 10 p.m. pub and restaurant curfews, which could last for six months amid rising daily infections.
“The resurgence of the virus, and the measures we need to take in response, pose a threat to our fragile economic recovery,” Sunak told lawmakers in Parliament.
“The government will directly support the wages of people in work, giving businesses who face depressed demand the option of keeping employees in a job on shorter hours, rather than making them redundant,” he added. The chancellor