The Government has brought in some major changes to its Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme as further changes loom in the autumn.

From August 1, the Treasury has dropped its financial support from 70% to 60%.

This means that any employer still furloughing staff will have to start paying a minimum of 20% per staff member - plus pension contributions and national insurance.

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The move is part of the Government's scaling back of the furlough scheme before it is then totally stopped in the autumn of 2021.

The closure of the fifth Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) grant for self employed workers will also be axed then.

Employers will have to pay the 20% contribution to furloughed staff until the scheme ends at the end of September, the Treasury said.

In real terms, this means employers will have to pay up to £625 per employee depending on their wage.

The Mirror reports that under the changes, Government is set to contribute 60% of wages up to a maximum cap of £1,875 for the hours the employee is on furlough.

Kate Palmer, employment expert at HR consultancy Peninsula, said: "The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (furlough scheme) was put in place to support employers who are not able to operate as normal due to the pandemic.

"By designating employees as 'furloughed', employers have been able to recover a portion of employee wage costs up to a £2,500 cap.

“As confirmed by the Government Budget delivered on March 3, 2021, the scheme will continue to operate until the end of September 2021.

"With the 80% rule still intact, employers will need to contribute 20% to staff wages up to £625. Those on flexible furlough (working only some hours), will be paid in full by their employer for the hours they work, and the grant will cover 80% of pay for their unworked hours only, subject to a cap which is less than £2,500."

Almost three million people have moved off the furlough scheme since March this year when businesses reopened.

As of the end of June, 1.9 million people still were using the scheme. Younger people have moved off the scheme twice as fast as all other age brackets, with almost 600,000 under 25s moving off the scheme.

But Industry insiders say the cut off is still too soon, with the New Economics Foundation (NEF) estimating 600,000 workers could be at-risk of redundancy or a reduction in hours or pay when the support ends.

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