We outlined the initial Job Support Scheme (unveiled as part of the Government’s winter plan for pulling the country’s economy through what looks to be a very difficult winter) in our blog which you can read here.
Since then, on the 9th October, Rishi Sunak announced an expansion to the existing scheme- specifically to help businesses forced to close due to local or national lockdowns over winter. We surmise the details understood so far below:
For UK-wide businesses that are forced to close due to local or national lockdowns over the winter months:
– Two thirds (67%) of employee salaries will be paid by the Government (up to a maximum of £2,100 a month) for those who are out of work for a minimum of 7 consecutive days
– Local Restrictions Support Grants will be increased to a maximum of £3000 a month and made available after 2 weeks of closure (rather than 3 as previously laid out)
– Payments will be made to businesses in arrears via HMRC (service available from 1st December 20)
– Businesses required to close as a result of specific workplace outbreaks by local public health authorities are not eligible for this scheme
“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.”
Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak
The scheme will run for 6 months from the 1st November 2020 and will be reviewed by the Government in January 2021.
Employees of firms that have been forced to close due to restrictions prior to 1st November 20 are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which is detailed in our blog here.
While using the scheme, employers will not be expected to contribute toward the wages of their employees but will need to cover NICS and pension contributions (although it’s estimated that around half of potential claimants will not incur these costs anyway).
Employers can top up salaries to full pay if they are able to and wish to do so.
Further guidance is expected to be released over the next few weeks so we will make amendments to this blog as and when the details evolve.
For a more in depth look at eligibility, the Government fact sheet can be accessed here.