The Chancellor has just announced that the Job Support Scheme will be expanded to support businesses across the UK required to close their premises due to coronavirus restrictions. 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. The main features of the scheme are:
- The scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months, with a review point in January.
- 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.
- Cash grants for businesses required to close in local lockdowns also increased to up to £3,000 per month paid every two weeks.
- Employers will be required to cover NICS and pension contributions.
- Employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.
- Payments will be made in arrears – a HMRC claims service that will be available to do this from early December.
- Employees of firms that have been legally closed in the period before 1 November are eligible for the CJRS.