The Chancellor yesterday announced he will significantly increase the generosity and reach of its winter support schemes to ensure livelihoods and jobs across the UK continue to be protected in the difficult months to come, supporting jobs and helping to contain the virus.

Job Support Scheme (JSS) – Open

This scheme is designed to protect jobs in businesses facing lower demand due to Covid-19.

The employer contribution to those unworked hours has been reduced to 5% (formerly 33%) and reduces the minimum hours requirements to 20%.  So, if someone was being paid £587 for their unworked hours, the government will contribute £543 and their employer only £44.

In summary

Employers will receive the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus if they continue to comply with the terms by 31st January. The Job Support Scheme Closed for businesses legally required to close remains unchanged.

This is open to employees and office holders who have been included on a payroll return between 6/4/19 and 23/9/20 so previously excluded employees may now be eligible.

Job Support Scheme (JSS) – Closed

This scheme is designed to help businesses pay their employees’ wages if they are legally required to close due to coronavirus restrictions.

In summary:

Business Grants

The Chancellor has announced additional cash grants of up to £2,100 per month primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector which are not legally closed, but are severely impacted by the restrictions on socialising and in Tier 2


These grants will be available retrospectively for areas who have already been subject to restrictions since August and come on top of higher levels of additional business support for Local Authorities moving into Tier 3.

There will also be a small discretionary fund for other businesses which are affected but don’t have rateable premises or aren’t in those particular sectors. Each Local Authority will determine their own eligibility criteria.

Businesses in Very High alert level areas will qualify for greater support whether closed or open (up to £3,000 per month).  In the latter case support is being provided through business support packages provided to Local Authorities as they move into the alert level.

For more information see the Business Grants Factsheet

Self-employed grant

Today’s announcement increased the amount of profits covered by the self-employed grants from 20% to 40%, meaning the maximum grant will increase to £3,750.

Grants will be available to anyone who was previously eligible for the SEISS (Self Employed Income Support Scheme) grant one and grant two, and meets the eligibility criteria.

Grants will be available to anyone who was previously eligible for the SEISS (Self Employed Income Support Scheme) grant one and grant two, and meets the eligibility criteria and are impacted by reduced demand.

Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering 3 months. The first will cover a three-month period from November 2020 to January 2021.  The taxable grant is calculated based on 40% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment, capped at £3,750.

The second grant will cover a three-month period from February to April 2021.  The government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.

For more information see the Government Policy Paper

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