Employers have been warned to prepare for major changes to the UK’s furlough scheme which take place from next week.

While workers will continue to receive the same pay, employers will need to contribute more each month as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme begins to wind down on August 1.

Paul Hornby, managing director of accountants JF Hornby, in Ulverston, said: “Major changes are being introduced from August 1 and every month after that, which employers need to make sure they’re fully prepared for.

"We know this is a busy and difficult time for lots of businesses as they work hard to get themselves back on their feet, so planning ahead now is going to be imperative.”

From August 1, employers will need to make National Insurance and pension contributions for the hours their staff are on furlough.

From September 1 firms will also need to cover 10 per cent of wages for furloughed staff with the Government providing the remaining 70 per cent - totalling 80 per cent of pay up to a maximum of £2500 per month.

And from October 1 employers will need to cover 20 per cent of wages for furloughed staff with the Government providing the remaining 60 per cent.

The scheme draws to a close on October 31. Firms will receive a £1000 bonus payment for every furloughed worker they re-employ until January.

Paul said: “It does make things complicated for businesses themselves, particularly while they are focused on adapting their working patterns and premises to ensure they can offer a Covid secure workplace.

“The chancellor has done a fantastic job and the furlough scheme has worked very well.

"However, it cannot last forever and it’s right that the financial help provided through the scheme is tapered down month by month as we move towards its closure in October."