Ruth Maguire MSP has repeated calls from the Scottish Government for flexibility to be shown to employers as the furlough scheme has been extended until the end of October.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the extension of the job retention scheme which will enable employees to receive 80% of their salary November.

However, the requirement for employers to share the cost of the scheme from August has raised concerns from representatives of some industries across the country.

Employers are required to pay National Insurance and pension contributions from August. They will then need to pay 10% of wages from September, rising to 20% from October.

Ruth Maguire previously asked Finance Secretary Kate Forbes at a Virtual Meeting of the Scottish Parliament if the Scottish Government would offer long term support for small businesses which face financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus.

It was noted that the Scottish Government’s ability to provide further support is dependant on additional funding from the UK Government with the Finance Secretary confirming that the Scottish Government is in regular contact with the Treasury on this issue.

The SNP MSP said: “I welcome the further extension of the furlough scheme until October which will provide security for workers in North Ayrshire and across Scotland at this time as we begin to slowly ease our way out of lockdown.

“However, the changes to the scheme which require employers to contribute to the scheme from August are too rigid and do not accommodate sectors, such as hospitality, who will be affected by lockdown measures for a longer period of time than others.

“We can’t find ourselves in the position where the costs of maintaining the scheme for businesses without additional support will delay rather than avoid the loss of jobs.”