THE Chancellor is expected to tell employers that they will have to contribute to the salaries of their furloughed workers as the government said the scheme cannot run "indefinitely."

Rishi Sunak is expected to use tonight's daily Downing Street press briefing to set out the changes to the government's Jobs Retention Scheme - but some are warning the changes could see people laid off.

The government's furlough scheme, which currently covers the wages of 8.4m in the UK, currently covers 80 percent of workers' wages up to £2,500 per month.

Ministers have already said they are to extend the scheme until the end of October, but earlier this month suggested employers would soon be expected to make a contribution. 

Treasury sources did not deny reports that Mr Sunak will ask employers to contribute around 20 percent of wages, as well as National Insurance and pension contributions from August.

But Mr Sunak is facing calls, including from a cross-party group of 113 MPs, to extend the scheme supporting self-employed workers past Sunday or risk leaving many "without work and without support".

It comes after Boris Johnson announced a gradual easing of the lockdown in England, with friends and families able to meet in parks and gardens in socially distanced groups of six from Monday.

The Prime Minister said all five of his tests to move into the next phase had been met, allowing schools to begin reopening and greater contact to be permitted from Monday.

Mr Johnson on Thursday confirmed people will be able to see "both parents at once, or both grandparents at once", in what he said will be a "long-awaited and joyful moment" for many.

The easing of restrictions also means the gradual reopening of the economy, with outdoor retail and car showrooms opening in England from Monday ahead of a greater opening of non-essential shops.