URGENT calls are being made clarity over the planned extension of the coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Julian Sturdy, MP for York Outer, has today written to the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, pressing for clarification and urging the Government to take a sector-by-sector approach.

In his letter, he states that some sectors should be encouraged to return to work safely as soon as possible, while others - including York’s large hospitality and tourism sector - will require full Government support for a significant period.

There is some confusion over whether businesses will be able to move furloughed employees onto the part-time scheme as soon as the retail and hospitality sectors start to reopen at the beginning of June and July respectively.

Questions have also been raised over whether the part-time scheme will replace the full furlough scheme when it is introduced at the end of July or whether it will operate alongside it.

Mr Sturdy said: “The Government should be praised for the effectiveness of the Job Retention Scheme, which has so far given a degree of security to many thousands of employees during these difficult times. There is a growing feeling however that the current measures need to be fine tuned as we emerge from lockdown.

"I was pleased to hear the Chancellor announce the new part-time scheme this week, which will help to support York’s retail, tourism and hospitality sectors until at least the end of October.

"Many businesses will need this scheme to be in place as soon as they reopen in June and July.

"Others will need the protection of the full scheme until well into the autumn. I would encourage the Government to provide this flexibility, whilst urging businesses that can safely return to work to do so in order to ease the burden on the public purse."