Nic Smith, managing director of Gateshead-based Commercial Maintenance Services UK Ltd, has welcomed today’s announcement by the chancellor that he is extending the furlough scheme until October.
He said: “It is superb news and shows great government support for business. This will be enough to bridge the gap if the economy is slow to respond.”
He also praised Rishi Sunak for introducing a part-time element to the furlough scheme, adding: “It is difficult to bring a person back off furlough when there isn’t the revenue available to support a full-time role.”
The company, which installs, maintains and repairs critical business systems, including heating, hot water, gas and electrical systems, was forced to furlough 66 of its 136 staff based across the UK at the start of April as work from some clients, including those operating in the hospitality industry, dried up.
However, CMS has continued to work with care homes and hospitals and has won some significant new work during the pandemic which has provided vital income and allowed it to unfurlough some staff.
The chancellor confirmed that the coronavirus job retention scheme – which pays staff 80% of their wages, up to a maximum salary of £2,500 – will be extended until October, with the Richmond MP promising that workers will not see a dip in salary until the scheme ends.
Between August and October, there will be “greater flexibility” with employers able to bring furloughed employers back part-time. However, the government will ask firms to “start sharing, with the government, the costs of paying people’s salaries.”