Government announces expansion of Job Support Scheme and cash grants for any business having to close due to local Covid restrictions
- 14th October 2020
The Chancellor has announced that any business who has to close its doors as a result of coronavirus restrictions will be able to access the Job Support Scheme (JSS).
Any business whose premises are ‘legally’ required to temporarily shut as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work. This will be equal to two thirds of each employees’ salary (67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 per month.
Under the JSS, employers will not be required to contribute towards wages. They will however have to cover the NICS and pension contributions. A business will only be eligible to claim this grant whilst they are impacted by restrictions.
To be able to claim the JSS the following conditions must be met:
- Business has had to close due to legal Covid-19 restrictions imposed locally or nationally
- Business has had to close but is able to offer delivery and collection services from their premises
- Employees must be employed and an RTI submission made on or before 23 September
- Employees must be furloughed for a minimum of seven consecutive days
- Employees must give up one third of their salary and must agree in writing
- Do not have to have used the CJRS to be eligible
The scheme will commence on 1 November, following the end of the CJRS and will be available for six months. Payments will be made in arrears via a claims service through HMRC. The employer will be expected to pay employees and then claim the money back through HMRC. The portal will not open until 1 December 2020.
Local Restrictions Support Grants
In addition to the JSS, government has also boosted cash grants to support businesses forced to close. The local restrictions support grants (LRSG) were announced in early September as part of the governments Winter Economy Plan. Initially the grants were designed to assist businesses forced to lockdown locally, however this has now been extended to businesses who have closed on a national level including nightclubs, bowling alleys, pubs and restaurants.
These grants, aimed to assist with fixed costs, will be linked to a business’s rateable value and will be up to a maximum of £3,000 per month, payable every two weeks
These grants will be available to those businesses who have been forced to close for at least three weeks due to local lockdown. Local authorities may, at their discretion, also provide this funding to businesses who ‘do not’ pay business rates.
To be eligible a business must:
- Occupy the property on which it pays the business rates
- Be in a local lockdown area and required to close because of formal publication of local restrictions that led to a first full day of close on or after 9 September 2020 (funding is not retrospective)
- Has been required to close for at least 3 weeks because of the lockdown
- Has been unable to provide its usual in-person customer service from its premises
This could include non-essential retail, personal services or cafes/restaurants that operate primarily as an in-person venue but which have been forced to close those services and provide a takeaway-only service instead.
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