COVID-19: Support for businesses in lockdown - Updated: 17 November 2020

  • Coronavirus: Support for businesses in lockdown

    The Chancellor has announced an extension to the new Job Support Scheme and increased cash grants to provide extra financial support to businesses forced to close under local or national lockdown rules during the COVID-19 pandemic.


    The Job Support Scheme (JSS) is due to commence from 1 November 2020 and provides for the government to pay part of the wages of those working reduced hours due to Coronavirus:


    • Employees must work at least 33% of their 'usual hours' which the employer pays for.
    • For every hour not worked the employer and the government meet an extra one-third of the employees' usual pay, the government contribution to be capped at £697.92 per month.
    • Applies to employees on an employer’s PAYE payroll on or before 23 September 2020.


    Under the proposed extension to the scheme UK businesses whose premises are legally required to shut as part of local or national restrictions will receive increased grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work.


    • The JSS eligibility conditions must be met, except the requirement to work 33% of usual hours.
    • The government will pay two-thirds of each employees’ salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month for a period of six months from 1 November 2020.
    • Employers are not required to contribute to salary costs but can do so if they wish.
    • Employers will need to cover National Insurance Contributions (NICs) and pension contributions.
    • Employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days.
    • Businesses already closed on 1 November 2020 can claim with effect from 9 October 2020.
    • Businesses forced to close premises but able to operate collection and delivery only services can still claim.
    • Businesses required to close by local health authorities due to specific workplace outbreaks cannot claim.
    • Payments will be made in arrears and claims can be made from early December.


    In addition, the Local Restrictions Support Grant scheme will be extended so that businesses in local lockdown in England can receive up to £3,000 per month, instead of the current £1,500 per month and receive payment after two weeks of closure instead of three.


    • Extra funding is being provided to the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales to allow them to provide similar support to businesses in their areas.




    COVID-19: Government support tracker

    This tracker covers measures announced by the government to support individuals and businesses, as we get through COVID-19.


    COVID-19: Job Support Scheme

    The employee ‘Job Support Scheme’ replaces the Coronavirus Job Retention scheme (CJRS). It was announced in the Chancellor Rishi Sunak's Winter Economy Plan in September 2020.


    New grants for local COVID lock-down businesses

    On 9th September 2020 the government announced new grants of up to £1,500 for businesses that have been forced to close due to local COVID-19 lockdown orders. This was increased to £3,000 on 9 October 2020.


    External link


     Fact sheet: Job Support Scheme Expansion for closed business premises


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