The Job Support Scheme (JSS) will be expanded to support businesses across the UK required to close their premises due to coronavirus restrictions.
- This scheme will cover businesses that, as a result of restrictions set by one or more of the four governments in the UK, are legally required to close their premises. This includes businesses that are required to provide only delivery and collection services from their premises, or food and drink outdoors from their premises.
- 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.
- Under the scheme, employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and only asked to cover NICS and pension contributions. Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to restrictions and employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.
- The scheme will begin on 1 November and will be available for six months, with a review point in January.
- In line with the rest of the JSS, payments to businesses will be made in arrears, via a HMRC claims service that will be available from early December. Employees of firms that have been legally closed in the period before 1 November 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.
- Further guidance on the scheme will be set out by HMRC in due course.
In addition to expansion of the JSS, 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 rateable values, with up to £3,000 per month payable every two weeks, compared to the up to £1,500 every three weeks which was available previously.
The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will benefit from a £1.3 billion increase to their guaranteed funding for 2020-21 – allowing them to continue their response to Covid-19 including through similar measures if they wish.