The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has set out the government's new job retention measures in a statement to the House of Commons today. 

It replaces the 'furlough scheme'. 

The new Jobs Support Scheme involves the government supporting the wages of people in work, and giving employers the option to keep people in work on shorter hours, rather than make them redundant.

Employees will have to work at least one-third of their normal hours, and this will be paid for that by the employer. The government will then pay the other two-thirds of the salary. The verbal statement in the House made no mention of any maximum payments. Doubtless, that will be made clear in due course.

All SMEs are elgibile, and larger businesses will be eligible if their turnover has fallen through the Covid-19 crisis.

The new Scheme is open to all employees, even if they were not previously furloughed.

The scheme will run for six months, which will be welcome news for many employers and employees alike.