Rishi Sunak has announced that the theatre and creative industries will not receive an extension to the government’s furlough scheme.
The furlough scheme helps employers pay staff that are unable to work due to the pandemic, but it will not be extended for individual sectors in need. In September, employers must pay 10% of the wages of furloughed employees, increasing to 20% in October.
The Chancellor of the Exchequer told BBC Breakfast: “The government has helped pay wages for eight months. There is still support there, the job retention bonus means that for every successful employee that you can bring back from furlough and re-employ through to January, the company will receive a thousand pounds.”
Sunak added: “The theatre and entertainment sector is one of our great strengths as a nation, we’ve provided £1.57 billion, which was warmly received, to help them bridge what is quite a while before they can operate as normal.”
This news comes after Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, confirmed that it may not be until November that indoor performance venues will know when they will be able to reopen.
Many performance venues across the UK have announced job cuts. Figures published by the industry union BECTU showed that 5,000 jobs have been lost in redundancies and layoffs.
Words by Charlotte Roszko.
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