In response to the Chancellor's unprecedented package of financial measures to support workers, Peter Cheese, chief executive of the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development comments:

"With this announcement the Chancellor has shown that the Government is backing businesses and backing the nation’s workforce. The introduction of a job retention scheme is absolutely the best way to protect jobs and incomes at this critical time."

"This is an unprecedented crisis and requires this kind of radical intervention. Wage subsidies have been effectively introduced in other developed economies and significantly helped to protect people's jobs during recessions. The plans outlined today promise to help do the same for the UK during this crisis."

"The challenge now is the speed with which employers can access these funds to avoid redundancies being made, given it could be the end of April before they become available."

"Employers need to hold their nerve in this challenging time and make every effort where they can to retain their staff while waiting for the job retention funding to come through. Concerns over immediate cashflow and payroll challenges should be met by the business loans announced by government, which should be available in a matter of days."

"The HR profession is at the coalface of this economic and workplace crisis. The CIPD is working with its members to help them implement official guidance and the new financial support measures across thousands of workplaces."

"We are ready to work with them, and the Government to protect working people, increase organisational resilience, and make a rapid recovery more likely."

"We also welcome the Government’s efforts to improve the safety net for the self-employed and for anyone who does lose their job."

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At the CIPD, we champion better work and working lives. We help organisations to thrive by focusing on their people, supporting economies and society for the future. We lead debate as the voice for everyone wanting a better world of work.