The Chancellor is expected to announce an employment and wage subsidy package today following late-night talks with business groups and union leaders.

Many employers have urged Government to consider following the lead of neighbouring countries like Denmark, where a 75% state wage contribution has been issued for private companies for three months if they retain their staff.

“Many other countries have now done this - France, Germany, Spain, Italy have put employee wage support in place and if that comes through quickly I believe there are businesses who will take a different decision because they want to keep their people and they want their businesses to be viable for when we recover,” Dame Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the Confederation of British Industry told BBC News.

The announcement, expected at 5pm today, will follow a range of financial measures – including a £330bn bail-out loan package and business rates holiday – that the chancellor announced earlier this week.