- Open businesses which are experiencing considerable difficulty will be given extra help to keep staff on as government significantly increases contribution to wage costs under the Job Support Scheme, and business contributions drop to 5%.
- Grants for the self-employed doubled to 40% of previous earnings.
Member of Parliament for Delyn, Rob Roberts, has welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement which increases the support available for businesses and workers affected by Covid restrictions.
Yesterday, the Chancellor announced that the Government will significantly increase the generosity and reach of its winter support measures including the existing Job support and self-employed schemes, to ensure livelihoods and jobs across the UK continue to be protected in the difficult months to come while also helping to contain the virus.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
“I’ve always said that we must be ready to adapt our financial support as the situation evolves, and that is what we are doing today. These changes mean that our support will reach many more people and protect many more jobs.
“I know that the introduction of further restrictions has left many people worried for themselves, their families and communities. I hope the government’s stepped-up support can be part of the country pulling together in the coming months.”
Recognising the pressure businesses in some sectors and areas are facing, yesterday’s announcement lightens the burden of keeping on staff through the expansion of support offered in the Job Support Scheme (JSS).
When originally announced, the JSS – which will come into effect on November 1 - saw employers paying a third of their employees’ wages for hours not worked, and required employers to be working 33% of their normal hours.
Yesterday’s announcement reduces the employer contribution to those unworked hours to just 5%, and reduces the minimum hours requirements to 20%, so those working just one day a week will be eligible. That means that if someone was being paid £587 for their unworked hours, the government would be contributing £543 and their employer only £44.
Employers will continue to receive the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus. The Job Support Scheme Closed for businesses legally required to close remains unchanged.
Yesterday’s announcement also increases the amount of profits covered by the two forthcoming self-employed grants from 20 per cent to 40 per cent, meaning the maximum grant will increase from £1,875 to £3,750.
This is a potential further £3.1bn of support to the self-employed through November to January alone, with a further grant to follow covering February to April.
The scheme is UK wide and the UK Government will work with the devolved administrations to ensure the scheme operates effectively across all four nations.
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said:
“Since the very start of the pandemic, the UK Government has supported thousands of people and businesses across Wales throughout the unprecedented economic challenges we have faced.
“The expansion of the Job Support Scheme shows that we will continue to do what is necessary to protect the economy and provide a vital safety net for workers across Wales.
“We have also allocated billions in extra funding to support the devolved administration and have now increased this total to £4.4bn as we continue to work together to meet the biggest crisis Wales and the UK has faced in generations.”
The devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will benefit from a £1.3bn increase to their guaranteed funding for 2020-21 - allowing them to continue their response to Covid-19 including through similar measures if they wish.
Commenting, Rob said:
“Yesterday’s announcement of extra support builds on the Government’s existing package of unprecedented measures to help protect, create and support jobs through the pandemic.
“I am glad that as many businesses and workers have adapted to the everchanging situation caused by Covid, so has the support available from the UK Government – highlighting that the UK Government is listening to the needs and views of businesses.
“I encourage as many businesses as possible in Delyn to access this brilliant support in order to protect local jobs and help support the local economy.”
To ensure that businesses in Delyn are well-supported and informed in these difficult times, Rob will be writing to local businesses to highlight the schemes and financial support that is available, especially as many will have to close due to the nature of the Welsh Firebreak lockdown.
If any businesses have any specific or urgent issues with accessing Government support, Rob and his team are always happy to help and can be contacted via his email – firstname.lastname@example.org