The government has now extended the Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) or Furlough by one month beyond the original closure date of 31 October. This means that the Job Support Scheme will not now be introduced until December 2020.
The Chancellor has announced additional financial support for businesses that are required to close due to Coronavirus restrictions.
Support announced comes in two forms:
- A UK wide extension of the Job Support Scheme, and
- In England, a monthly grant of up to £3,000 to cover fixed costs.
The features of each are outlined below.
Businesses required to close as a result of specific workplace outbreaks by local public health authorities are not eligible to claim under this extended JSS scheme.
To make a claim, employers must have a UK bank account and be registered with a UK PAYE scheme on or before the relevant date, that date is yet to be confirmed following the extension of the CJRS arrangements.
Employers will only be able to use the scheme for employees who cannot work (paid or unpaid) for that employer.
Any payments received from government will be taxable.
What are the additional benefits offered?
- Government will pay two-thirds of employees’ monthly salaries up to a maximum £2,100 per month, per employee.
- Employers will not be required to contribute to wages and will only have to pay any National Insurance and pension costs.
- This expanded JSS will be introduced in December 2020 after the closure of the CJRS.
- The scheme will only apply to businesses required to close due to coronavirus restrictions. It will include premises restricted to delivery or collection only services from their premises.
- To claim, employees must be off work for a minimum seven consecutive days.
When will the additional JSS payment be made?
As with the wider JSS scheme, claims for December will be processed in January via an online portal. Subsequent months’ claims will thus be paid one month in arrears.
HMRC will require to see evidence to check your claims
As with other government grants, HMRC will check claims and demand repayments of any claims made incorrectly or fraudulently. In particular, employers should agree and notify claims in writing with affected employees.
HMRC may ask to see these written agreements.
HMRC have also indicated that they will be publishing the names of employers that have claimed under the scheme.
Cash Grants for business required to close in England
Cash grants to businesses required to close in England are also being increased. These cash grants are to support business owners with fixed costs; those costs payable even if the business is closed.
Grants will be linked to rateable values of business premises and will paid every two weeks. This should provide extra financial support to businesses across the hospitality sector that are required to close due to COVID restrictions.
- Smaller businesses with rateable values at or below £15,000 will be able to claim £1,300 per month.
- Medium-sized businesses with a rateable value between £15,000 and £51,000 will be able to claim £2,000 per month, and
- Larger businesses will be able to claim £3,000 per month.
The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be receiving additional financial support to offer similar measures in the devolved areas, should they choose to do so.
Information is constantly changing, please check the government website for updates
See the government website for the latest update on the Job Support Scheme
* Based on published information as of 3rd November 2020
Disclaimer: The information in this article is provided for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. We cannot accept responsibility or liability for any actions you may take, or not take, based on this information.