Job Support Scheme Expanded to Firms Required to Close Due to Covid Restrictions
The Chancellor has announced today, that the Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of 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
Under the 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
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.
Under the scheme, employers will not be required to contribute towards 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 and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.
The scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months, with a review point in January. In line with the rest of the JSS, payments to businesses will be made in arrears, via an HMRC claims service that will be available from early December. Employees of firms that have been legally closed in the period before 1 November are eligible for the CJRS.
In addition to expansion of the JSS, 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, including restaurants, pubs, nightclubs, bowling alleys and many more.
They build on the government’s wider package of unprecedented measures to help protect, create and support jobs through the pandemic, to ensure that nobody is left without hope or opportunity.
- This scheme will cover businesses that, as a result of restrictions set by one or more of the four governments in the UK, are legally required to close their premises. This includes businesses that are required to provide only delivery and collection services from their premises, or food and drink outdoors from their premises. To be eligible employees must be employed and an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 23 September.
- 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.
- The government is now making this scheme more generous so that businesses receive up to £3,000 per month, rather than up to £1,500 per three weeks, and they are eligible for payment sooner, after only two weeks of closure rather than three.
- Small businesses with a rateable value of or below £15,000 can now claim £1,300 per month; medium sized businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 can claim £2,000 per month; and larger businesses can claim £3,000.
- The government is also extending the scheme to include businesses which have been forced to close on a national rather than a local basis.
We will provide any further guidance as it is released.
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