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All aboard Rishi’s rescue raft

So, responding to political pressure, Rishi Sunak has had a rummage down the back of the Government sofas and discovered another £11bn or so to extend the Job Support Scheme, increase grants for businesses affected by Tier 2 and Tier 3 restrictions and provide additional support for the self-employed.

Whilst 83 year old Maureen from Barnsley will still no doubt be questioning where the money is coming from, the announcements have been welcomed by businesses as a much needed boost which will hopefully shelter jobs and employers through, what is likely to be, a long winter.

We’ve summarised the latest changes below along with links to further details and guidance

Extension of the Job Support Scheme for open businesses

JSS was initially announced on 23 September as a scheme whereby the Government would pay some of the wages of employees who are on reduced hours. Now within 10 days of it starting, this has now been extensively rewritten and made more generous.

In summary, the employee must work at least 20% of their usual hours, and 2/3 of their pay for the unworked hours will be made up such that they will receive a minimum of 73% of their usual pay. The 66.67% of unworked hours will be funded 5% by their employer and 61.67% by the Government.

Our factsheet on Job Support Scheme Open has more details and can be read here.

HMRC’s factsheet and guidance can be accessed here and here.

Increased Grants for self employed

The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme was extended initially on 24 September but the amounts that can be claimed have now been doubled.

The self-employed can claim two grants, each available for three month periods covering November 2020 to January 2021 and February 2021 to April 2021.

The first grant will cover a three-month period from 1 November 2020 until 31 January 2021 and will be equal to 40% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering 3 months’ worth of profits, capped at £3,750 in total.

The second grant will cover a three-month period from 1 February 2021 until 30 April 2021. The Government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

Increased grant support for business in the hospitality, leisure and accommodation sectors in Tier 2 or 3 areas

Hospitality, accommodation and leisure firms in tier two and three areas will be eligible for a backdated grant of up to £2,100 per month, on top of any other funding.

Further details can be found on the new grants here

Other aspects – unchanged but worth a reminder

  • Job Support Scheme for closed businesses

Where a business is closed and an employee is not working for at least 7 days, the employee will receive 2/3 of their usual pay (up to £2,100) paid for by the Government

BHP’s factsheet can be found here and HMRC’s guidance is here.

  • Grant support for Tier 3 businesses – Tier three businesses qualify for a grant of up to £3,000 a month if they are affected by the restrictions, whether they are open or closed.
  • Job Retention bonus – £1,000 for every furloughed employee kept on until at least the end of January and paid at least £1,560 during November, December and January . Wages covered by JSS can count towards the JRB Minimum Income Threshold.
  • £1,500 for every out-of-work 16-24 year-old given a ”high quality” six-month work placement under the kickstarter scheme
  • £2,000 for every under-25 apprentice taken on until the end of January, or £1,500 for over-25s
  • Furlough aka Coronavirus Job Retention scheme ends on 31 October – claims must be made by 30 November