The government will pay the wages of employees unable to work due to the coronavirus pandemic, in a radical move aimed at protecting people's jobs.It will pay 80% of salary for staff who are kept on by their employer, covering wages of up to £2,500 a month.
The "unprecedented" measures will stop workers being laid off due to the crisis, chancellor Rishi Sunak said.
Firms have warned the virus could see them collapse, wiping out thousands of jobs, as life in the UK is put on hold, reports BBC.
It is understood that the wage subsidy will apply to firms where bosses have already had to lay off workers due to the coronavirus, as long as they are brought back into the workforce and instead granted a leave of absence.
The chancellor said the move would mean workers should be able to keep their jobs, even if their employer could not afford to pay them.