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Businesses that are legally required to close their doors will get financial help through the Job Support Scheme

Today the government expanded the Job Support Scheme. Here is how it works.

Businesses across the UK that are legally required to close their doors because of coronavirus restrictions will get financial help through the government’s Job Support Scheme (JSS).

From 1st November, businesses that are legally required to close as part of local or national restrictions will receive money from the government to help pay the wages of their employees.

The government will pay two thirds of each employee’s salary, up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.

This will help protect jobs and allow businesses to reopen quickly once restrictions are lifted. 

Who will it help?

Businesses that are legally required to close as part of a lockdown over winter are eligible for the scheme.

Businesses that are legally restricted to providing delivery and collection services from their premises, such as restaurants, will also be able to use the scheme.

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.

Businesses do not need to have previously used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to be eligible for the new support.

How will it work for employees?

Employees will have two thirds of their wages paid for by the government, up to a maximum of £2,100 per month. Their employer can top up any remaining wages, although they do not have to.

Although the money will come from the government, employees will still receive their wages through their employer.

While on the scheme, employees cannot work or volunteer for their employer, but they can work or volunteer for another business or charity.

How will it work for businesses?

Employers will only be able to claim for the period they are legally required to close.

They will not be required to contribute towards wages but will be asked to cover the employee’s National Insurance and pension contributions.

The employer will be able to make a claim online through GOV.uk from December 2020 and will be paid every month by HMRC.

Employees will need to be not working for a minimum of 7 consecutive (or calendar) days at any given time.

What about the government’s other support schemes?

In addition to the expansion of the Job Support Scheme, the government is increasing the cash grants to businesses in England shut in local lockdowns to support with fixed costs. These grants will be linked to a business’ turnover, with up to £3,000 per month available.

If the business used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, they will also be able to claim the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus in the new year – a one-off payment made to businesses for each employee they previously furloughed and keep employed until 31st January 2021.

How is this different to other schemes announced by the Chancellor?

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which ends on 31st October, was designed to provide immediate protection for millions of jobs when nationwide restrictions came into force in March.

As the restrictions lifted and businesses reopened in the summer, millions of furloughed staff returned to work, but the resurgence of the virus has meant some businesses will be facing lower demand over the winter months. Last month, the government announced the Job Support Scheme to protect jobs in these businesses.

The scheme will help businesses by topping up the salaries of employees who can’t return to full-time work. To be eligible, employees must be in a job where they can work for at least one-third of their normal hours. For the hours not worked, the government and employer will each pay one-third of the remaining wages.

As part of the expanded scheme announced today, businesses legally required to close as part of national or local coronavirus restrictions will receive two thirds of each employees’ salary, up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.

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