UK Government Increases COVID Financial Support for Businesses
The UK Government’s Job Support Scheme (JSS) is being further expanded to support businesses across the UK that are impacted by coronavirus/COVID-19 restrictions.
When originally announced, the JSS – which will come into effect on 1 November – saw employers paying a third of their employees’ wages for hours not worked, and required employees to be working 33% of their normal hours. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has today announced that the employer contribution to those unworked hours will reduce to 5%, and reduces the minimum hours requirements to 20%, so those working just one day a week will be eligible.
In addition to expansion of the JSS, the Government is increasing the cash grants to businesses in England that are shut in local lockdowns, to help with fixed costs. The Chancellor has announced approved additional funding to support cash grants of up to £2,100 per month primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas. These grants will be available retrospectively for areas that have already been subject to restrictions, and come on top of higher levels of additional business support for local authorities moving into Tier 3.
These measures will continue to sit alongside the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus (JRB), which encourages employers to keep staff on payroll.
The JSS scheme, which is UK wide, will begin on 1 November 2020 and will be available for six months, with a review point in January 2021.
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