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Chancellor announces additional support

23 October 2020

COVID-19

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Yesterday saw the Chancellor announce additional support for businesses and the self-employed for those areas of the country in high alert-levels as well as businesses more broadly.

The package is focused on 3 areas - the job support scheme (to replace furloughing); measures for the self employed and business grants. Please see below some further information on the schemes.   

Job Support Scheme - Open

The JSS starts to operate from 1 November and covers all Nations of the UK. For every hour not worked, the employee will be paid up to two-thirds of their usual salary.

The government will provide up to 61.67% of wages for hours not worked, up to £1541.75 per month (more than doubling the maximum payment of £697.92 under the previous rules). The cap is set above median earnings for employees in August at a reference salary of £3,125 per month.

Example: a typical full-time employee in the hospitality industry is paid an average of £1,100 per month. Under the Jobs Support Scheme for open businesses, they will still take home at least £807 a month. All the employer needs to pay is a total of £283 a month or just £70 a week; the government will pay the rest.

Employers using the scheme will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus (JRB) for each employee that meets the eligibility criteria of the JRB. This is worth £1,000 per employee. Taking JSS-Open and JRB together, an employer could receive over 95% of the total wage costs of their employees if they are retained until February.

For more information see the Job Support Scheme Open Factsheet.

Self Employed

The government will provide two taxable SEISS grants to support those experiencing reduced demand due to COVID-19 but are continuing to trade, or temporarily cannot trade.

It will be available to anyone who was previously eligible for the SEISS grant one and grant two, and meets the eligibility criteria.

Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering 3 months. The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November 2020 until the end of January 2021. The government will pay a taxable grant which is calculated based on 40% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment and capped at £3,750.

The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April 2021. The government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

For more information, see the HMRC website.

Business Grants

We are providing additional funding to allow Local Authorities (LAs) to support businesses in high-alert level areas which are not legally closed, but which are severely impacted by the restrictions on socialising. The funding LAs will receive will be based on the number of hospitality, hotel, B&B, and leisure businesses in their area.

LAs will receive a funding amount that will be the equivalent of:

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants of £934 per month.
  • For properties with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000, grants of £1,400 per month.
  • For properties with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 and over, grants of £2,100 per month.

This is equivalent to 70% of the grant amounts given to legally closed businesses (worth up to £3,000/month).

Local Authorities will also receive a 5% top up amount to these implied grant amounts to cover other businesses that might be affected by the local restrictions, but which do not neatly fit into these categories.

It will be up to Local Authorities to determine which businesses are eligible for grant funding in their local areas, and what precise funding to allocate to each business – the above levels are an approximate guide.

Businesses in Very High alert level areas will qualify for greater support whether closed (up to £3,000/month) or open. In the latter case support is being provided through business support packages provided to Local Authorities as they move into the alert level. The government is working with local leaders to ensure the Alert Level very high packages are fair and transparent.

For more information see the Business Grants Factsheet.