The chancellor, Rishi, on Friday popped up with an announcement of more support for businesses in the next 6 months. Sadly this announcement is a sure indicator, for businesses in areas where they are failing to get COVID-19 under control, that tougher lockdowns are about to hit their ability to trade. The news is also peppered with articles that the PM is going to announce tougher lockdowns for parts of the country on monday.
The announcements by Rishi have been designed for any business which is LEGALLY forced to close their premises as a result of any lockdown restrictions. If you can still trade but choose to not trade, this package of measures will, sadly, not apply to you. However, if you are a pub or restaurant who is forced to stop serving meals to diners sitting in, you can still claim on this scheme if you are able to offer a food delivery service or takeaway.
What is available?
For any employee who can not work because the employers’ premises are closed for a minimum of 7 consecutive days, the government will pay 2/3rds of their normal wage up to a max of £2100 per month. As with all of these grants, the payments are taxable and you, the employer, would be expected to cover employer NICS and automatic enrolment pension contributions. Similar to the Furlough scheme the wages can be claimed monthly in arrears. This scheme is open to employers from 1st November for 6 months.
Unlike the winter economy plan, this new extension to the government job support scheme seems to have been rushed through very quickly. Here are more details of the scheme Note the lack of branding for a key communications document! And the fact it is light on ‘how’ to actually claim…
In addition to the extension to the Job Support Scheme the government will increase the grants it pays to businesses in England legally forced to shut in local lockdowns. The grants are:
Small businesses with a rateable value of or below £15,000: £1300 per month
Medium-sized businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000: £2000 per month
Large businesses can claim £3000 per month.