UNITE the Union has called for the furlough scheme to be extended to 2022.

General secretary Len McCluskey said: “We’ll keep looking for an extension because there's tremendous uncertainty out there.

“Furloughed workers have been living with a 20 per cent cut in their wages for the best part of a year now, amassing hefty debts. 

"This will need to be addressed by government because depressed incomes will hold back the recovery, further cementing inequality.

“I also direct this call to employers, work with us now to avert a jobs crisis. 

"Let’s do all we can to build back demand because the task now is to keep people in work.”