The Chancellor of the Exchequer has today announced an expansion to the Job Support Scheme for firms which are legally required to close due to COVID restrictions.
Under the expansion of the scheme –
- Firms whose premises are legally required to shut for a period over winter as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work.
- The scheme is UK wide and the UK Government has said that it will work with the devolved administrations to ensure the scheme operates effectively across all four nations.
- The scheme will cover businesses that, as a result of restrictions set by one or more of the four governments in the UK, are legally required to close their premises. This includes businesses that are required to provide only delivery and collection services from their premises, or food and drink outdoors from their premises.
- 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.
- 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 2021.
- In line with previous information provided about the Job Support Scheme, payments to businesses will be made in arrears, via a HMRC claims service that will be available from early December 2020.
- To be eligible employees must be employed and an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before 23 September.
- These measures will sit alongside the original Job Support Scheme – which is designed to support businesses that are facing low demand over the winter months – and the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus which encourages employers to keep staff on payroll.
- A Government fact sheet on the scheme is available. More detailed guidance on the scheme will be provided by HMRC in due course and we will provide an update on Be Aware as soon as this is available.