I said on Monday that a day is a long time in politics. Well today I was proved right. Whether it was part of the negotiation to get Manchester into tier 3 or planning for an imminent lockdown, the Job Support Scheme just got a major boost in its generosity to businesses.

What has changed?

Firstly, the names of the schemes have changed for better clarity: The Job Support Scheme for businesses able to provide reduced hours to staff is now called “Job Support Scheme Open”.  While the scheme for businesses legally required to close due to Covid-19 restrictions is called “Job Support Scheme Closed”.

Important changes you need to know:

  • The minimum hours given to a worker on reduced hours has dropped from 33% to 20%. Meaning you could now put a member of staff who usually works 5 days a week on just one day a week and the scheme will cover part of their lost wages
  • The employee will still get paid two thirds of their lost wages BUT the government will now pay a higher proportion of this and the employer will pay less. Of the lost hours the employer will now only have to fund 5% and HMRC will top up the rest (up to a cap of £1,666.75)
  • The most an employer will now have to pay for a member of staff on reduced hours is £125
  • Available for “apply to eligible businesses in all alert levels” according to Rishi Sunak in the announcement in the commons – but it appears you would have to demonstrate that local conditions are affecting turnover of the business

We have updated our Ultimate Guide to the Job Support Scheme and will continue to do so as more information is released.

Overall, provided the eligibility criteria is as it sounded in today’s announcement this makes it a much more attractive scheme for you as an employer and removed some of the cost concerns we discussed on Monday. However, the thought process for putting staff onto the scheme should remain as before.

Read the full guide to the Job Support Scheme

Self Employed Grant

This has been increased from a 20% of average earnings to 40% of average earnings, up to a cap of £3,750. This means the maximum grant for the coming quarters payment increases from £1,875 to £3,750.

We are expecting applications to open in November via your own government gateway. We, as your tax agent, are not able to apply for these on your behalf.

Read our full guide to support for self-employed

Local Grants for Business in Tier 2 restrictions

Hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses operating under Tier 2 restrictions will receive cash grants from Government.

Local authorities will be funded by government to provide grants of up to £2,100 per month.  to hospitality, leisure and accommodation businesses operating under Tier 2 restrictions. These can be back dated to 1 August where restrictions date back to then.

HRMC are due to publish details about eligibility, conditions and timescales but once we have this information, we will analyse it and let you know what it means for your business.

Of course, it could all change again between now and Monday – but I hope not.

If you need any advice or support on anything mentioned above or are worried about your options as an employer, please contact your Principal Adviser.

Contact me today!

Josh Curties

BA (Hons) FCA

Partner & Principal Adviser

01474 853856

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