The Chancellor has announced that the Jobs Support Scheme (JSS) is being expanded. This is to protect jobs, as well as support businesses that are being required to close due to COVID19 restrictions.
Under the expansion, firms who have to close their premises for some period over winter due to local or national restrictions will receive grants. The grants are provided to pay the wages of staff who cannot work. The aim is to protect jobs and enable businesses to reopen once restrictions lift.
The government will support eligible businesses by paying two-thirds of each employees' salary (or 67%) a month. This will be up to a maximum of £2,100 per employee, per month.
Under this scheme, employers will not be required to contribute towards employees' wages. They will only need to cover the costs of NICs and pension contributions.
Businesses will only be eligible to claim the grant while they are subject to Coronavirus restrictions. Employees must be off work for at least seven consecutive days.
The scheme began on 1st November 2020. It will be available for 6 months, with a review taking place in January 2021. In line with the rest of the JSS, payments to businesses will be made in arrears. You will be able to claim via an HMRC claims service that will be available from early December. Businesses that have been legally closed in the period before 1 November are eligible for the CJRS. Your business may be eligible if it:
is based in England
is in an area subject to ‘High’ or ‘Very High’ local restrictions since 1 August 2020 and has been severely impacted because of the local restrictions
was established before the introduction of Local COVID alert level: High restrictions
has not had to close but has been impacted by local restrictions
Local councils have the freedom to determine the precise eligibility criteria for these grants. However, we expect the funding to be targeted at hospitality, hotel, bed & breakfast and leisure businesses.
You must notify your local council if your situation changes and you no longer meet the eligibility criteria. E.g. you become insolvent.
In addition to the expansion of the JSS, the government is increasing cash grants to businesses in England shut in local lockdowns to support with fixed costs.
These grants will be linked to rateable values, with up to £3,000 per month payable every two weeks. This is an increase from what was previously available via business grants - which was £1,500 every three weeks.