The French government will continue paying up to 84% of salaries for furloughed workers “until next summer” due to prolonged economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic, labor minister Elisabeth Borne announced Thursday on France’s BFM television.
France has already spent tens of billions of euros on the temporary unemployment scheme since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, in an effort to save jobs.
Last week, the government unveiled a 100 billion euro (approximately $118 billion) stimulus plan to help revive its hard-hit economy.
France, along with other European nations, has seen a rise in COVID-19 infections in recent weeks, as people returned to work and school.
France’s national public health agency reported 8,577 new cases on Wednesday, the country’s second-highest daily increase in COVID-19 infections so far, bringing its cumulative total to 344,101 cases with 30,794 deaths.
The furlough scheme was designed to help people who couldn’t do their jobs and prevent mass redundancies.
Under the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme, to give furlough its official title, workers placed on leave have been able to receive 80% of their pay, up to a maximum of £2,500 a month.
Almost 10 million workers who were unable to do their job because of the coronavirus outbreak, have had their wages paid by the government.