Please Note: All information was correct at time of writing on 12 October 2020. We do our very best to make sure our information is as up to date as possible, but we’d encourage you to check out our latest articles and to check the government website for updates as they happen.
On 9 October, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that the Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be expanded to give additional assistance to businesses required to close their premises because of either local or national restrictions.
The extension to the scheme will operate very differently to the main scheme and is designed to prevent job cuts in sectors affected by government-enforced closures.
Like the furlough scheme, the government will contribute to employees’ monthly wages to throw a lifeline to businesses forced to close by national or local restrictions. The government will pay two-thirds of employees’ salaries (67%) up to a maximum of £2100 per month in respect of staff who cannot work, to protect jobs over the winter.
Employers will not be required to contribute to wages and only asked to cover NICS and pension contributions.
Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions which have forced them to close and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.
Venues that remain under a curfew, however, are not eligible for support under the extension to the scheme as they have not been ordered to close by the government (but employers could use the main scheme if an employee is working at least a third of their normal working hours).
The scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months, with a review point in January.
Grant payments will be made in arrears via an HMRC claims service that will be available from early December. The scheme is UK wide and the UK Government will work with the devolved administrations to ensure the scheme operates effectively across all four nations.
The government is also increasing the cash grants to businesses in England that have had to shut in local lockdowns. 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.
These are challenging times, especially for employees, business owners and employers. Our team of HR and Employment Law experts provide you with the latest government news to help you work through this difficult period.
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