The newly announced Job Support Scheme has been expanded to protect jobs and support businesses forced to close their doors as a result of the coronavirus restrictions. Here, Beatons director Stephanie Hammond, examines the updates to the initiative.
Companies who are legally required to shut for a period of time through winter as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work.
It is an expansion of the Job Support Scheme announced by Chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of his Winter Economy Plan and will protect jobs and enable businesses to reopen quickly once restrictions are lifted.
The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each workers’ salary, up to a maximum of £2,100 per month.
The Chancellor said: “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.”
Under the scheme, employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and will cover NICS and pension contributions. It is estimated that around 50% of potential claims are not likely to incur employer NICS or auto-enrolment pension contributions and will face no employer contribution.
Companies will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to the lockdown restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.
The Job Support Scheme will begin on November 1 and run for six months, with a review point in January. Payments will be made in arrears via a HMRC claims service that will be up and running from early December.
Employees of companies that have been legally closed in the period before November 1 will be eligible to claim via the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The scheme will run throughout the UK with the government working with the devolved administrations to ensure it operates effectively.
As well as the expansion of the Job Support Scheme, businesses in England can now claim up to £3,000 per month with the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme.
The Chancellor has announced that these will be paid sooner, after only two weeks of closure as opposed to the initial three. This will be beneficial for thousands of businesses including pubs, nightclubs, bowling alleys and many others.
These measures will work alongside the original Job Support Scheme which will support businesses that are facing low demand over the winter months, as well as the Job Retention Bonus of £1,000 which encourages employers to keep staff on their payroll.
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