Job Support Scheme expanded to firms required to close due to Covid Restrictions

Job Support Scheme expanded to firms required to close due to Covid Restrictions

Please note this article was published on 9th October 2020 and may be out of date. For the latest information about financial support around Coronavirus, please click here

The government’s Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be expanded to protect jobs and support businesses required to close their doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions, the Chancellor announced today, 9 October.

– Job Support Scheme will be expanded 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

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 – protecting jobs and enabling businesses to reopen quickly once restrictions are lifted.

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, 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.

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 a 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.

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.

Click here for more information about the expanded JSS.

Responding to the Chancellor’s announcement that the Job Support Scheme will be enhanced to help UK firms that will have to close due to tighter restrictions expected next week, and cash grants will be increased, British Chambers of Commerce Director General Adam Marshall said:

“The enhanced Job Support Scheme will provide some additional relief for businesses forced to close due to intensified restrictions. It is right that the Chancellor has responded to our long-standing calls for more local support, as so many areas across the UK now face restrictions and closures. More generous cash grants will be of some help, but for most this will not be enough to offset a sustained cash crunch.

“As welcome as this new support will be for companies shut down by government decree, additional local restrictions and lockdowns will have a material impact on many other firms, especially in supply chains and in town and city centres. Their cash flow concerns, and worries about future demand, must be heeded.

“At the end of the day, no fiscal support will ever be a substitute for an open, functioning economy. While the Chancellor deserves thanks for enhancing the support on offer, the goal of all governments across the UK must be to get to a point where wide-ranging restrictions, and the economic disruption they bring, are no longer needed.”

“At the end of the day, no fiscal support will ever be a substitute for an open, functioning economy."

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