1 million furloughed in day 1

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Furlough scheme covers 1m workers on day one The Government's online application system for furloughing employees has launched, with huge numbers of employers expected to apply for inclusion in the scheme under which 80% of the wages of staff temporarily laid off as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will be paid, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month. Chancellor Rishi Sunak, who last week extended the furlough scheme until the end of June, announced that more than 140,000 companies employing a total of a million workers applied to the scheme on its first day of operation – with 67,000 claims in the first 30 minutes. The Chancellor said getting the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme System up and running was a "remarkable story of public service", noting that thousands of HMRC staff had either worked overtime or come out of retirement to assist in delivery of the initiative. The Revenue has deployed 9,500 staff to deal with queries.

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