In response to Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement on the plan for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Mayor Dan Jarvis said:

“The extension and flexibility of furlough will provide much-needed certainty for employers and workers, and will help strike a balance between reopening the economy and bringing workers back safely. We must avoid the worst of both worlds: a hasty rush back to work and a second peak of coronavirus cases, which would be devastating to people’s health and their livelihoods.

“In South Yorkshire we are beginning to see a rise in unemployment. The furlough scheme is there to protect as many jobs as possible during the biggest public health crisis in generations – it must not be used as a smokescreen for redundancies now or further down the line. I urge employers to stand by their workers.

“To ensure our companies recover, the Government must now work with Metro Mayors to support businesses and communities as we recover from the economic impact of the coronavirus, ensuring we have the powers and resources to build back better.

“The furlough scheme has proved vital to reducing the impact of the virus in the short term but as we move into recovery, renewal is needed. After the furlough scheme, a significant stimulus must follow, to tackle deep-seated problems in our society and economy. Only then we will be able to fix our infrastructure, unlock the region’s potential and deliver a green new deal for the economy and environment.”

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