Major changes are coming for thousands of workers across the country as the UK Government’s Job Retention Scheme comes to a close this weekend.

The f urlough scheme officially ends on Saturday, October 31 to be replaced on Sunday, November 1 by the “less  generous” Job Support Scheme.

Martin Lewis has been at the forefront of bringing the latest coronavirus-related news to the masses, especially the UK workforce.

He has championed the causes of millions of workers who have “slipped through the cracks” of the financial support schemes introduced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak since lockdown first began in March.

And in the latest edition of the MoneySavingExpert.com newsletter, the financial journalist explains how the “coronavirus income support schemes shake-up” and self-employment schemes will work from this weekend.

Martin wrote: “The Job Retention Scheme - often called furlough - officially ends on Sat, to be succeeded on Sun by the less generous Job Support Scheme.”

The consumer champion then outlined how the new financial support scheme will run for six months for employees on the payroll on September 23, and is split into two parts depending on whether or not a business must close due to lockdown.

Meanwhile, the next period covered by the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant (SEISS) starts on Sunday, November 1.

To complicate matters, the UK Government last week rewrote how they will work, however, Martin has summarised the key information on the MoneySavingExpert.com website to make it easier for everyone to understand.

Martin Lewis explains all the financial support changes coming into effect this weekend

Employed by a business still open? You'll need to work at least 20% of your hours to be eligible for anything under 'Job Support Scheme Open'

The website states: “This is different from the original furlough scheme, under which you weren't allowed to work at all. Now you must work at least 20% of normal hours (originally 33% before last week's change). If you hit that minimum you'll get 73% of your normal wage, up to a cap - but the more you work, the more you get.”

The Job Support Scheme works like this:

Full information, including eligibility, which is largely the same as the current furlough scheme, can be found on the MoneySavingExpert.com ‘Job Support Scheme Open’ section here.

Employed by a business forced to close due to lockdown? Most should get 67% of their wage from the state under 'Job Support Scheme Closed'

The website states: “This is a new element to help businesses, branches or departments instructed to close, but it won't cover those that choose to close themselves.

“That 67% is capped at £2,083 per month, while your employer must cover pension and National Insurance but it doesn't have to pay any wages.”

Full information can be found on the MoneySavingExpert.com ‘Job Support Scheme Closed’ section here.

Self-employed? Under the third Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant that covers November-January you get 40% of profits, up to £3,750 for the three months

The website states: “This is less generous than grants 1 and 2, which covered 80% and 70% of profits respectively, although it's double the 20% originally announced for the third grant. Strangely, there's no date yet for when you'll actually be able to apply.”

However, there are stricter eligibility criteria and millions are still excluded.

The website adds that: “Crucially you'll need to declare you have been affected by reduced demand to claim the third grant. This is a significant change - with previous grants there were broader criteria and you could claim for any ‘adverse impact’.”

More information on eligibility and who is excluded, can be found in the MoneySavingExpert.com Self-Employed Income Support guide here.

Check what additional help is available

Payment holidays

Until Sunday, October 31, you can apply for a three-month break on many financial products, after that date it will only be tailored help on offer. Find out more here.

£500 self-isolation payments

A pplications for the Self-Isolation Support Grant have opened for low income workers in Scotland who are asked to quarantine and would lose income if they needed to isolate.

The £500 grant will help those who have been asked by Test and Protect to isolate, following a positive test for Covid-19 or having been in close contact with someone who has tested positive. Find out more here.

You can find more coronavirus-related information on the MoneySavingExpert.com website here.