The Chancellor has today announced further support measures aimed at protecting jobs and supporting businesses through the pandemic. 

Expansion of Job Support Scheme 

If you are legally required to close the doors of your business as a result of national or local coronavirus restrictions for some period over the winteryou will receive grants to help to pay the wages of staff who cannot work. The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employees salary up to a maximum of £2,100 a month. Employers will not be required to contribute towards wages, but will be asked to cover National Insurance and pension contributions. 

The grant can only be claimed while the business is subject to restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days. 

The scheme begins on 1 November and will be available for six months, reviewed in January 2021. 

Payments will be made in arrears, via an HMRC claims service available in early December. (Employees of firms that have been legally closed in the period before 1 November are eligible for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.) 

Local lockdown cash grants 

Grants of up to £3,000 per month, payable every two weeks will be made available to businesses shut in local lockdowns. The amount of the grant is linked to rateable values. This amount has been increased from the previous level of up to £1,500 every three weeks.  

Alongside the original Job Support Scheme, and the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus, the government hopes that these measures will protect jobs throughout the pandemic. 

Wayne Thomas, partner at Bates Weston comments: 

The Chancellors announcements will offer a lifeline to businesses struggling to see how they would be able to retain staff after the end of the CJRS. This extended Job Support Scheme, which looks and feels a lot like a partial furlough scheme is specifically for those who will be formally asked to close as part of increasing coronavirus restrictions. Further details on how the scheme will operate are expected shortly from HMRC.” 


Useful links: 

Government Factsheet: Job Support Scheme Expansion for Close Business Premises