The Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, has today announced a package of measures that will continue to protect jobs and help businesses through the uncertain months ahead as we continue to tackle the spread of the virus.
The package includes a new ‘Jobs Support Scheme’ to protect millions of returning workers, extending the Self Employment Income Support Scheme and 15% VAT cut for the hospitality and tourism sectors, and help for businesses in repaying government-backed loans.
– From the 1st November – for the next 6 months – the Job Support Scheme will open. It will protect viable jobs in businesses who are facing lower demand due to the pandemic. To be eligible employees must work a minimum of 33 percent (1/3rd) of their hours. Employers will continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work – but for the hours not worked, the government and the employer will pay one third of their equivalent salary. All employers will be allowed to apply, even if they did not use the furlough scheme. This will only apply to small and medium sized enterprises. Larger employers will only be covered if their turnover has gone down.
- The Self Employment Income Support Scheme extension will support viable traders who are facing reduced demand over the winter months, covering 20 percent of average monthly trading profits via a government grant.
- Businesses who have borrowed under the Bounce Back Loan Scheme will be offered the choice of more time and greater flexibility for their repayments.
- Lenders have been enabled to offer Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Schemes borrowers more time to make their repayments where needed. The application for all Coronavirus loan schemes has extended to 30th November, 2020.
- Businesses who deferred their VAT will no longer have to pay a lump sum at the end of March 2021. They can instead split it into smaller interest free payments over the course of 11 months.
- They have extended the 15% VAT cut for the tourism and hospitality sectors to the end of March 2021.