The Chancellor has announced plans to extend the UK government’s flagship job retention scheme until the end of October but he will gradually cut the cost of the programme.

The current scheme will continue until the end of July but will be amended between August and the end of October to “provide greater flexibility to support the transition back to work”.

Between that period payments to furloughed staff working part-time will be allowed.

Also, from August employers will be asked to share the cost of the job retention scheme with the taxpayers, although employees would continue to receive the same 80 per cent of their salary. Details will be announced by the end of this month.