Walpole statement – Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme

Walpole’s CEO, Helen Brocklebank, reacts to the news that the Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will be extended until October 2010

Walpole broadly welcomes today’s announcement by the Chancellor that the Job Retention Scheme (JRS), which has been a lifeline for many British luxury businesses, will be extended to the end of October 2020.

On behalf of the UK’s luxury sector, Walpole is relieved that the JRS will continue in its current form until the end of July, with furloughed employees being able to claim 80% of their salary up to £2,500 per month, and that from August to October all sectors in all regions of the UK can expect a continuation of the scheme, but with greater flexibility including the ability to bring furloughed employees back part-time.

Feedback received from Walpole’s members indicates that an extension to the JRS will help to preserve jobs and that the evolution of the scheme to include the part-time furloughing of employees will support luxury businesses to restart their operations in both an economically viable and, crucially, safe way for employees and customers.

Walpole awaits further details on the JRS from the Chancellor at the end of May and would encourage the Government to do everything in its power to support the whole of the British luxury industry, particularly the twin-engines of retail and hospitality, by reducing the burden on employers to share the cost of furloughing employees until such time as is safe for these sectors to return to work.