Chancellor Rishi Sunak recently announced an extension of the Job Support Scheme for businesses that are legally required to close their premises in the coming months.
Under the extended scheme, the Government will pay 67% of employees’ pay for eligible businesses, up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.
Those employers will not be required to contribute towards wages, but will be asked to cover employer national insurance and workplace pension contributions. Sunak said this expansion will provide a ‘safety net’ for businesses that have to temporarily close due to local lockdowns.
To be eligible, businesses must be legally required to close as a result of Government restrictions, and their employees must be off work for at least seven consecutive days.
This includes businesses that are required to provide only delivery and collection services from their premises. All employers with a UK bank account and a UK PAYE scheme registered on or before September 23, 2020 can claim the scheme. This means an RTI submission notifying payment in respect of that employee to HMRC must have been made on or before that date.
The scheme will be available for six months beginning on November 1, 2020, and payments will be made in arrears through a HMRC claims service that is set to open in early December. Employees of firms that have been legally closed in the period before November 1 are eligible for the CJRS.
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.
Local Restrictions Support Grant
In addition, the Chancellor announced an increase to the cash grants offered to businesses in England that are shut due to local lockdowns.
- Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under will receive grants of £667 per two weeks of closure (£1,334 per month).
- Properties with a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive grants of £1,000 per two weeks of closure (£2,000 per month).
- Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over will receive grants of £1500 per two weeks of closure (£3,000 per month).
- The government is also extending the scheme to include businesses which have been forced to close on a national rather than a local basis.
These grants will be paid in fortnightly instalments and based on the rateable value of the business’s property, with up to £3,000 a month on offer.