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Published on Thursday, October 22, 2020

Businesses to receive more support in revamped job scheme






Businesses will be given greater levels of financial support under new plans unveiled today by Chancellor Rishi Sunak.


Firms that are open but 'experiencing considerable difficulty' will now only have to contribute 5% towards the unworked wages of an employee under the Job Support Scheme. 


The government will pay 62%.


When the scheme was first announced, employers were asked to pay 33% of the hours not worked by staff, with the government contributing 33% and the rest unpaid.


The Treasury said the minimum number of hours which an employee must work will be reduced from 40% to 20%, meaning they only have to work one day a week before the government's financial support kicks in for business owners.


The Job Support Scheme starts on November 1 and will last for six months.


In a further move cash grants of up to £2,100 per month will be given 'primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector who may be adversely impacted by the restrictions in high-alert level areas', the Treasury said  


"These grants will be available retrospectively for areas who have already been subject to restrictions, and come on top of higher levels of additional business support for local authorities moving into tier 3 which, if scaled up across the country, would be worth more than £1bn," a Treasury department statement said.


"These grants could benefit around 150,000 businesses in England, including hotels, restaurants, B&Bs and many more who aren't legally required to close but have been adversely affected by local restrictions nonetheless."


Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: "I've always said that we must be ready to adapt our financial support as the situation evolves, and that is what we are doing today. These changes mean that our support will reach many more people and protect many more jobs.


"I know that the introduction of further restrictions has left many people worried for themselves, their families and communities.


"I hope the government's stepped-up support can be part of the country pulling together in the coming months."

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