Coronavirus 20 April 2020 Firms flood government's furlough scheme with applications for more than one million workers Sign UpGet the New Statesman's Morning Call email. Sign-up More than 140,000 firms applied to the government's grant scheme for furloughed workers in the eight hours after it launched, securing financial support for more than one million furloughed workers, Chancellor Rishi Sunak has said. The scheme, which will pay furloughed stuff 80 per cent of their wages up to £2,500 a month, opened at 8am this morning, and by 4pm, more than 140,000 businesses had applied to it, Sunak said at the government's coronavirus briefing today. Firms should receive money via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme within six working days. › Coronavirus cases dropping in England, but rest of the UK yet to see a decline Subscribe For more great writing from our award-winning journalists subscribe for just £1 per month!