Today the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that additional help will be provided to workers who can’t work because their firms are forced to shut by law.
In the unfortunate event that the UK Government has to shut businesses from specific sectors in order to limit the spread of Covid-19, their employees will get 67% of their wages paid by the Government, up to a maximum of £2,100 per employee per month.
The scheme will begin on 1 November and run for six months with a review in January. Until November businesses that are asked to close can continue to use the furlough scheme.
It is also important to notice that the scheme will only apply to businesses which are told to close by the Government and not those which decide to close.
The Chancellor also explained that businesses obliged to close in England will see an increase in business grants, with up to £3,000 a month paid every fortnight.
Small businesses which are forced to close won’t have to pay any contribution towards their workers’ salaries, while larger businesses will have to contribute around 5% of employees’ costs in the form of National Insurance and pension contributions.
This new scheme is much more generous than the Job Support Scheme, which was introduced by the Chancellor ten days ago and which requires employers to pay at least 55% of their active workers’ wages.
The difference between the two schemes is quite easily explained: Job Support Scheme applies to businesses which are allowed to stay open, while the new scheme only applies to businesses which are forced to shut.
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