Job Support Scheme expanded for businesses closed due to COVID-19 restrictions

On the 9 October, the Government announced an expanded version of the Job Support Scheme (JSS) to support those businesses who are required to shut due to local or national restrictions (those in suggested level 3 scenarios).

The standard terms of the JSS were announced to support those businesses still seeing a reduced demand due to COVID-19; by covering a third of an employee’s non worked standard hours. Finer detail and eligibility can be found in our article Job Support Scheme (JSS), where we also have a calculator to help you work out your contribution to the scheme.

The expanded scheme will see two-thirds of employees’ salaries paid by the Government if a business is legally forced to close and the staff cannot work.

The grant will be to cover 67% of an employees’ salary up to £2100 per month. Employers will not be required to contribute towards wages like previously seen and will only be asked to cover NICS and pension contributions, a tiny proportion of the overall employment costs. It is estimated that around half of potential claims are likely not to incur employer NICs or auto-enrolment pension contributions and so face no employer contribution.

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. In line with the rest of the JSS, the scheme will begin 1 November for 6 months, with a review after 3. Payments to businesses will be made in arrears, via an HMRC claims service that will be available from early December.

We expect the JSS to be supportive of leisure and hospitality-based businesses through, what is expected to be, a difficult winter. The scheme includes businesses that are required to provide only delivery and collection services from their premises.

Local Restrictions Support Grant (LRSG)

On the 9 October amendments were made to the LRSG benefiting those sectors/ areas impacted by COVID-19 restrictions.

The LRSG announced in September had its terms improved for business owners. A grant will be provided, up to £3,000 per month, subject to the business applying, having been shut due to restrictions for a minimum period of two weeks (previously 3). The government is also extending the scheme to include businesses which have been forced to close on a national rather than local basis.

Grant size will be based on rateable value:

  • Properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under will receive grants of £667 per two weeks of the closure (£1,334 per month)
  • Properties with a rateable value of over £15,000 and less than £51,000 will receive grants of £1,000 per two weeks of the closure (£2,000 per month)
  • Properties with a rateable value of £51,000 or over will receive grants of £1500 per two weeks of the closure (£3,000 per month).

Need more information, help or advice?

This article was written by Matthew Hector Business Development Manager for Price Bailey. For further support and information regarding the implications to payroll, please contact Stuart Curtis; and for HR or legal support regarding the scheme, short-term working arrangements or contract amendments, please contact Heidi Berry.

 

We always recommend that you seek advice from a suitably qualified adviser before taking any action. The information in this article only serves as a guide and no responsibility for loss occasioned by any person acting or refraining from action as a result of this material can be accepted by the authors or the firm.

 

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