The furlough scheme is being further extended to September. Furloughed employees should see no change to their pay and will still receive 80% of their pay for hours they do not work (subject to the cap of £2,500 per month). However, from July, employers will be required to pay 10% towards the hours their furloughed staff do not work, rising to 20% in August and September.

The Self Employed Income Support Scheme is also being extended, with a fourth grant to cover the period of February until April and a fifth grant to cover the period from May to September. Eligibility for the fourth and grants is being extended to those who filed tax returns by midnight on 2 March 2021. Support under the SEISS will become more targeted. Those who have seen a 30% or greater fall in turnover will receive a full grant of three months’ average trading profits (up to £7,500). Otherwise, the grant will be 30% of average trading profits.

The Chancellor also announced measures to introduce an “elite” points-based visa to attract highly skilled workers and a new Global Business Mobility visa for overseas businesses to establish a presence or transfer staff to the UK. There will also be reforms to the Global Talent and Innovator visas to make them easier to obtain. The Budget also contains plans to modernise the sponsorship system used for visas such as the Skilled Worker visa, with a roadmap for the changes to be published this summer.

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