The furlough scheme, which sees the Treasury paying employees wages, should be extended beyond the end of November, NI’s finance minister has said.
It comes after the UK government announced on Saturday the scheme would be extended by one month.
It had been due to come to an end on 31 October.
Conor Murphy welcomed the one-month extension, but said he would be “pressing” for its continuation beyond this.
“Many businesses have been faced with tough decisions about redundancies which has not been helped by the lateness of this decision by the Treasury,” he said.
He said extending the scheme would help to provide “certainty” for businesses.
The furlough scheme, known officially as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, has paid up to 80% of the wages of people unable to work due to the effects of coronavirus pandemic.
It had been due to be replaced by the less generous Job Support Scheme on 1 November, aimed at businesses which have had to close as a result of regional lockdowns.
The mortgage payment holidays, which had also been due to end on 31 October, has been extended for six months for homeowners financially affected by the pandemic in all regions of the UK.