Friday, October 09, 2020

Protecting Jobs

Today the Chancellor set out the next stage of the Job Support Scheme, which will protect jobs and provide a safety net for those businesses that may have to close in the coming weeks and months.

  • Throughout the pandemic the government has taken unprecedented action to support jobs and livelihoods across the UK with over £200 billion worth of support – but because of the resurgence of the virus in some areas of the country, further action is necessary.
  • That is why the Chancellor announced today the next steps to protect jobs and support businesses that may have to close in the coming weeks and months.
  • These plans will give businesses and workers in the worst affected industries the support they need to get through the uncertain and difficult months ahead, ensuring they are ready to bounce back after we have defeated coronavirus.
  • The Job Support Scheme will be expanded to support businesses across the UK required to close their premises due to coronavirus restrictions
  • The UK 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 are being increased to up to £3,000 per month
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.  

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said: 

"Throughout the crisis the driving force of our economic policy has not changed. I have always said that we will do whatever is necessary to protect jobs and livelihoods as the situation evolves. 

"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 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. 

The scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months, with a review in January.

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.

More details available here.

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