U.K. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak extended a government program that pays most of the wages of employees furloughed because of the coronavirus, averting potentially thousands of job losses. The three-month Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will now run until June 30, Sunak said in an e-mailed statement on Friday. The extra month could add an extra 14 billion pounds ($17 billion) to the program’s expected cost of 42 billion pounds. Business leaders had warned that unless the program was extended, companies would have to start to process of laying off workers as soon as Saturday because employers are required by law to hold a 45-day consultation period before making redundancies. Carolyn Fairbairn, director general of the Confederation of British Industry, said on Friday “thousands” of jobs were at risk.