October 12, 2020 at 12:23 am EDT
Europe pays the heavy price to keep workers paid while the US argues over incentives
By Michael Birnbaum, William Booth and Luisa Beck
With the prospect of mass layoffs coinciding with a second wave of the novel coronavirus and new lockdowns, European leaders are expanding their commitment to generous, budget-damaging efforts to keep workers paid and employed.
The latest country to fall in line is the UK, which on Friday pulled back from ending a government program that pays up to 80 percent of private sector salaries for workers on vacation because of the pandemic.
Instead, the UK Treasury Department will continue to subsidize wages for companies due to close due to the growing number of regional lockdowns. It will also provide limited support to workers whose hours have been reduced.