skip to main content

Changes to The Government’s Furlough Scheme From 1 August

Since 1 August, employers have been required to pay National Insurance and pension contributions to staff on furlough.

Published: 04 August 2020 | 12:00 AM Updated: 28 April 2021 | 4:31 PM
musician playing marimba
40% of musicians do not qualify for either the Furlough scheme, or SEISS. Photo credit: Shutterstock

The change to the way that the Government’s furlough scheme functions is part of a series of phased changes to employment support. In July, furloughed employees were allowed to return to work part time, with the scheme continuing to cover days not worked.

August means that employers will now have to pay a contribution to keep employees on, and in September they will be required to pay 10% of their furloughed employees’ salaries, rising to 20% in October.

To encourage job retention, the Government will pay businesses a £1,000 bonus for every furloughed employee they keep on until the end of January 2021. These workers must be paid an average of at least £520 a month between November and January.

Sector specific support needed

40% of musicians do not qualify for either the Furlough scheme, or SEISS. Our industry has unique needs, which other countries are recognising through Government support.

We’re calling on the Government to:

  • Extend Government support schemes for our sector until normal work can be resumed
  • Plug all gaps in the scheme
  • Review the streaming funding model

Take action for musicians

Please continue to use your voice to ask the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to protect all self-employed workers, and ensure no musician is left behind.

You can use our template letter if you're not sure what to say. Remember to include how you are affected too. Personal stories make all the difference.

Write to Rishi now.

Get MU membership today

From gig players to part-time teachers and professional instrumentalists, MU members can access specialist insurance for musicians. This includes accident cover, health schemes, travel insurance and car insurance add-ons through the Musicians’ Union.

Explore our member services

  • Get public liability insurance for musicians
  • Access expert legal support
  • Be represented in your profession
  • Access expert career advice, resources, and training events
  • Connect, network, and get to know the community of musicians

Learn about all membership benefits

Get MU membership today

Continue reading

Adèle smiling in mid movement during a dance practice.

Tribute to Adèle Thompson

A passionate dancer, choreographer, abseil-dancer, stilt artist and teacher, Adèle was an MU member for over 25 years. This is a tribute written by two of her friends and work colleagues.

Published: 18 June 2024

Read more about Tribute to Adèle Thompson
View from the back of the room of all hands raised in a support of our motion at the LGBT+ Conference.

MU Motion on LGBTQ+ Musicians Passed at STUC Conference 2024

The MU sent a delegation to this year’s STUC LGBT+ Workers’ Conference in May, where our motion on tackling transphobia, ensuring culturally relevant mental health provisions and improvements to the Equality Act passed unanimously.

Published: 17 June 2024

Read more about MU Motion on LGBTQ+ Musicians Passed at STUC Conference 2024