News broke this Friday afternoon of a further Job Support Scheme expansion as the previous furlough scheme closes at the end of October and additional cash grants. With the realistic expectation that many business will remain closed by law and that other which have been allowed to reopen will also be forced to shut their doors again, the Chancellor outlined financial aid for the next six months.
This won’t impact the vast majority of Tamebay readers as online retail isn’t legally required to close, but we do know that many readers’ businesses also include leisure and hospitality sides as varied as food to sports and a surprising number of equestrian businesses. If you are legally forced to close part or all of your business activities, read on as the new Job Support Scheme expansion and grant measures could assist you.
- Job Support Scheme expansion to support businesses across the UK required to close their premises due to coronavirus restrictions
- Government will pay two thirds of employees’ salaries to protect jobs over the coming months
- Cash grants for businesses required to close in local lockdowns also increased to up to £3,000 per month
“Throughout the crisis the driving force of our economic policy has not changed. I have always said that we will do whatever is necessary to protect jobs and livelihoods as the situation evolves. The expansion of the Job Support Scheme will provide a safety net for businesses across the UK who are required to temporarily close their doors, giving them the right support at the right time.”
– Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer
Job Support Scheme Expansion
Firms whose premises are legally required to shut for some period over winter as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work – protecting jobs and enabling businesses to reopen quickly once restrictions are lifted. This Job Support Scheme expansion includes businesses that are required to provide only delivery and collection services from their premises.
The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employees’ salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month. Employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and only asked to cover NICS and pension contributions, a very small proportion of overall employment costs. It is estimated that around half of potential claims are likely not to incur employer NICs or auto-enrolment pension contributions and so face no employer contribution.
The scheme will begin on the 1st of November and will be available for six months, with a review point in January. Under the scheme, employees will need to be furloughed for a minimum of seven consecutive days at any given time and the payments to employers will be made monthly in arrears with first payments being made in December.
The government is increasing the cash grants to businesses in England shut in local lockdowns to support with fixed costs. These grants will be linked to rateable values, with up to £3,000 per month payable every two weeks, compared to the up to £1,500 every three weeks which was available previously. This could benefit hundreds of thousands of businesses such as restaurants, pubs, nightclubs and bowling alleys.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will benefit from a £1.3 billion increase to their guaranteed funding for 2020-21, intended to allow them to continue their response to Covid-19 including through similar measures should the three countries so wish.