On 5 November, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced that as part of the new national lockdown the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) has been extended until the end of March 2021. This announcement updates the Prime Minister’s previous announcement on 31 October that the CJRS would be extended for a month until December.
The scheme has also reverted to its original level of support. Furloughed employees will receive 80% of salary for hours not worked and businesses asked only to cover national insurance and employer pension contributions.
The CJRS was due to have ended on 31 October after being scaled back to cover 60% of salaries during that month.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said that the scheme will retain the flexible element and furloughed employees will receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500.
A statement from the Treasury also confirmed that the Job Support Scheme (JSS), which had been due to launch on 1 November has now been postponed, and will not start until the CJRS has closed.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak said:
‘I’ve always said I would do whatever it takes to protect jobs and livelihoods across the UK – and that has meant adapting our support as the path of the virus has changed.
‘It’s clear the economic effects are much longer lasting for businesses than the duration of any restrictions, which is why we have decided to go further with our support.
‘Extending furlough and increasing our support for the self-employed will protect millions of jobs and give people and businesses the certainty they need over what will be a difficult winter.’
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The government announced on Friday (9 October), an expansion of the Job Support Scheme to provide temporary support to businesses whose premises have been legally required to close as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions.
Under this expansion, affected businesses will receive grants towards the wages of employees who have been instructed to and cease work. This will cover businesses that, as a result of restrictions set by one of the four governments of the UK, are legally required to close their premises, or to provide only delivery and collection services from their premises.
The government will pay two thirds of employees’ usual wages, up to a maximum of £2,100 per month. You will not be required to contribute towards wages, but do need to cover employer National Insurance and pension contributions.
You can apply for the JSS including the new expansion even if you haven’t previously used the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS). JSS is available for six months, from 1 November, with payment of grants in arrears from early December. The scheme will be reviewed in January.
Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/news/job-support-scheme-expanded-to-firms-required-to-close-due-to-covid-restrictions.
As part of the Winter Economy Plan the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will be extended under the name SEISS Grant Extension. The grant:
- will be limited to self-employed individuals who are currently eligible for the SEISS, and
- will be available to individuals who are actively continuing to trade but are facing reduced demand due to COVID-19.
The scheme will last for six months, from November 2020 to April 2021, and will consist of two grants. The first grant will cover a three-month period from the start of November until the end of January. This initial grant will cover 20% of average monthly trading profits, paid out in a single instalment covering three months’ worth of profits, and capped at £1,875 in total. The second grant will cover a three-month period from the start of February until the end of April. The government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.
The amount of the first grant under the SEISS grant extension will be significantly less than the grants made under the SEISS. The initial SEISS grant was based on 80% of profits (capped at £7,500) and the second SEISS grant was based on 70% of profits (capped at £6,570).