As you will be aware, the Chancellor yesterday, announced some amendments to his Winter Economy Plan from last month, centering around increasing support for employers and businesses operating in the hospitality/tourism sectors.
The main change was made in the new Job Support Scheme, which is replacing the current Job Retention Scheme and is due to go live from 1st November. Below is a summary of the key points of this, with the new revisions:
- The government will subsidise the wages of employees who are working fewer than normal hours for businesses affected by COVID-19 and suffering reduced demand. For every hour not worked, the employee will be paid up to two-thirds of their usual salary.
- To be eligible for the scheme, employees will now only need to work a minimum of 20% (previously 33%) of their normal hours. The employee will be paid in full for these hours by the employer as normal.
- For hours not worked, the government will provide up to 61.67% of employee wages, up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month (this originally was 33% up to a maximum of £697.92) and the employer will contribute 5% of their wages, up to a maximum of £125 per month (this is down from 33% previously).
- Employers will be reimbursed in arrears for the government contribution, so they will therefore have to pay their employees first, before claiming it back.
- For any employee to be considered for the scheme, they must not be on a redundancy notice.
- Businesses can still use the new Job Support Scheme even if they have not previously used the Job Retention Scheme. They will also be able to claim the Job Retention Bonus (£1,000 per employee) for each employee that meets the eligibility criteria.
Please note, the above revisions are for businesses who are ‘open’ and are continuing to trade. For businesses forced to close by law, under the new restrictions in place, then the government will pay the full 67% of wages costs for employees, with the employer only needing to cover Employer NI and auto enrolment pension contributions.
There was an additional amendment announced to the extension of the SEISS for the self-employed. You will note it was previously announced an additional taxable grant of 20% of average monthly net trading profits (capped at £1,875), covering the 3-month period November to January 2021 was to be made available, from January 2021. This has now been increased to 40% of average net trading profits, capped at £3,750.
A further second grant covering the 3-month period February to April 2021, will also be made available, however it will be reviewed at a later date, to determine if this is also to be increased from 20% to 40%.
If you require any assistance with the above then please do not hesitate to contact our team.