Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a month-long extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme during the second lockdown.

Employees will receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500, as they did in the spring during the first lockdown, Sunak said.

The current Job Retention Scheme, which ends today, saw employers contributing towards employees’ salaries. However, the extended scheme does not.

Businesses will have the flexibility to furlough staff on a part-time basis or full-time.

They will be asked to contribute to an employee’s National Insurance and pension, which for the average claim, according to the Government, equates to 5% of total employment costs.

In addition, businesses in England forced to close will receive grants of up to £3,000 a month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant.

Additional support is expected to be announced for the self-employed, who are currently receiving 40% of recent earnings.

But restaurants, bars and retailers say that they face continuing problems paying rent, and that the furlough payments do nothing to help on that front.

The second lockdown is likely to plunge Britain into a double-dip recession, economists have warned, with final-quarter GDP to shrink by as much as 8%, and undoing any progress of the summer months.

Meanwhile, the Institute of Directors saying the government made a mistake in ending its suspension of the “wrongful trading rules” and urging ministers to reinstate it immediately to help prevent “a flood of insolvencies”; and

The Bank of England is widely expected to commit to another £100bn of asset purchases on Thursday.

The direct costs of more state support, along with the indirect costs of weaker tax revenue and higher social security spending, will add to Britain’s soaring public debt.