Breaking News: Further Support Announced for Struggling Businesses

Breaking News: Further Support Announced for Struggling Businesses

Key Contact: Claire Knowles

Author: Rebecca Mahon

Rishi Sunak has announced additional support for struggling businesses in the face of national and local lockdowns. This includes making changes to the Job Support Scheme, which hasn’t even come into force yet. It is due to come into effect on 1 November to replace the furlough scheme.

The Job Support Scheme now looks like this:

  • The employer must provide the employee with a minimum of 20% of their normal hours to work to qualify and pay the employee for these hours in full.
  • The government will pay 61.67% of the 80% hours not worked, provided that the employer pays 5% (66.67% of the 80% in total). This is double what was originally being offered by the Government.

This will ensure employees earn a minimum of at least 73% of their normal wages, where their usual wages do not exceed the reference salary (£3,125 per month).

The Job Support Scheme, as before, will be available across the UK and employers can make claims through gov.uk from 8 December 2020.

Employers will continue to be eligible for the £1000 Job Retention Bonus if they previously claimed for an employee under the original furlough scheme, and the employee is still employed on 31 January 2021. Businesses that are legally ordered to close will still be able to access the support announced earlier this month.

In addition, the Chancellor has announced that councils in England will be funded to give monthly grants of up to £2100 to businesses that are not legally closed, but are specifically affected by being placed in a high-alert area. The amount of funding will be based on the number of hospitality, hotel, B&B and leisure businesses in the area. Devolved nations are to be provided with equivalent funding. Businesses will be able to claim for these grants retrospectively, to as far back as August this year.

Finally, the support available to self-employed individuals is being doubled from 20% to 40%, with the maximum grant increased to £3750 over a 3-month period.

The information can be found in graph form here.

We await additional information from the Treasury on the new support measures and will circulate this via our website and social media channels once it becomes available. In the meantime, please contact our employment team for advice and support.

Claire Knowles – Partner

Mark Alaszewski – Associate

Rebecca Mahon – Solicitor

Adam McGlynn – Solicitor

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