The UK chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced increased support measures for businesses impacted by being in Tiers 2 and 3 of the country’s current restriction levels during the coronavirus pandemic.
Addressing the House of Commons, 22 October, chancellor Sunak confirmed changes to the Job Support Scheme, which replaces the furlough scheme on 1 November, as well as more favourable business grants and grants for the self-employed.
The government will provide up to 61.67% of wages for hours not worked, up to £1,541.75 per month, which more than doubles the maximum payment of £697.92 under the previous rules. The cap is set above median earnings for employees in August at a reference salary of £3,125 per month.
Employers will continue to receive the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus. The Job Support Scheme for businesses legally required to close remains unchanged.
Chancellor Sunak confirmed additional funding to support cash grants of up to £2,100 per month primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector which may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas (Tiers 2 and 3).
These grants could benefit around 150,000 businesses in England, including hotels, restaurants, B&Bs, with HM Treasury adding: “[And] many more who aren’t legally required to close but have been adversely affected by local restrictions, nonetheless.”
Local Authorities will also receive a 5% top up amount to these implied grant amounts to cover other businesses that might be affected by the local restrictions, but which do not neatly fit into these categories.
The chancellor also confirmed an increase in grants for categories of the self-employed.