With new restrictions on hospitality businesses in certain areas of England expected to be announced by the government on Monday, chancellor Rishi Sunak has unveiled new measures to help companies deal with the impact of forced closures.
Extension of the Job Support Scheme
Sunak said the government’s Job Support Scheme, which replaces the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme when it ends in October, will be extended. He said the staff of businesses forced to close will have two thirds of their salary up to a maximum of £2,100 a month covered by the government.
This scheme covers businesses that must legally close as a result of restrictions introduced by one of more of the four governments in the UK. It includes firms required to provide only delivery and collection services, or food and drink outdoors.
Employees must be off work and furloughed for a minimum of seven consecutive days and employers will still need to cover National Insurance and pension contributions out of their own funds.
An RTI submission notifying payment to HMRC must have been made for each employee on or before 23 September. Payments to employers will be made monthly in arrears with the first payments made in December.
The scheme will remain open for six months, with a review in January.
The Job Support Scheme will start on 1 November which suggests the new restrictions the government is planning to introduce will not start until next month.
Grants for businesses forced to close
Businesses in England forced to close due to local lockdown measures will also be able to access grants once they have been closed for a minimum two weeks.
Small businesses with a rateable value of or below £15,000 can 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 payments will be made in fortnightly installments.
So that the devolved administrations can introduce similar grants, the UK government is increasing the previously announced funding of £12.7bn to at least £14bn. It includes at least £7.2bn for the Scottish Government, £4.4bn for the Welsh Government and £2.4bn for the Northern Ireland Executive.