Every Friday we'll update this page with a summary of the latest guidance we've issued throughout the week, giving you a snapshot overview of the key announcements and updates.

The following update was published at 4.00pm on Friday 3 July 2020.

Here are the key updates you need to know this week:

Flexible furlough scheme kicks off

From 1 July this week, businesses will have the flexibility to bring furloughed employees back to work part time as part of the government’s plan to re-open the UK and kick-start our economy.

The scheme will remain open until the end of October and will continue to support jobs and business in a measured way as people return to work, our economy re-opens and the country moves to the next stage of its recovery.

A new deal for Britain

Prime Minister Boris Johnson set out the first steps in the strategy to rebuild Britain and fuel economic recovery across the UK.

The Chancellor will unveil more of this plan next week, and we will use the forthcoming Spending Review and Autumn Budget to set the direction for the rest of this parliament.

Scotland sets out a blueprint for economic recovery

A new Scottish Government report launched this week proposes a UK-wide £80 billion stimulus package to be created to regenerate the economy following the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The package could finance a temporary reduction in VAT and move the tourism and hospitality industries onto a reduced VAT rate of five per cent as well as see a cut in employers’ National Insurance Contributions to reduce the cost of hiring staff.

You can read more on the report which recommends bold, practical steps which would provide an immediate boost to our economy, protect existing jobs and deliver new ones here.

Government sets out new and ambitious R&D Roadmap

The Research and Development Roadmap, published on 1 July sets out the long-term plan to help to power up economic recovery and level up the UK to ensure the UK is the best place in the world for scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs.

Find out more here.

More firms can now benefit from the Future Fund

To date, more than 320 companies have benefitted from £320 million of Future Fund support which offers early-stage, high-growth businesses from a diverse range of sectors the opportunity to apply for a convertible loan of between £125,000 and £5 million to help them through the Coronavirus outbreak.

Changes to the scheme’s eligibility criteria from 30 June, will mean that UK companies who have participated in highly selective accelerator programmes and were required, as part of that programme, to have parent companies outside of the UK will now be able to apply for investment.

Support for performing arts venues

A targeted £10 million fund to support Scotland’s performing arts venues has been announced by Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop. Created as part of the Scottish Government’s £185m Business Support Fund, the Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund will help venues who cannot yet reopen to their audiences due to the ongoing impact of coronavirus (COVID-19). The fund will be run by Creative Scotland, who will publish full details shortly.