Employees who work for UK companies have been forced to close by law due to coronavirus restrictions, they are required to receive two-thirds of their government wages.
The scheme, announced by Rishi Sunak, begins on November 1 and will last for six months, and a Treasury source said it could cost hundreds of millions of pounds a month.
The restrictions, which could lead to the closure of bars and restaurants in the hardest hit areas, are expected to be updated on Monday.
Labor said the delay in support had caused “undue anxiety and job losses.”
Regional leaders called for more help for struggling businesses.
But the scheme will only apply to businesses that are being asked to close – rather than those choosing to shut down due to the impact of Covid’s restrictions.
The support will be reviewed in January. Until November, companies that are required to close can continue to use the vacation scheme.
The grants would be paid up to a maximum of £ 2,100 per employee per month, and the Treasury Department said it would protect jobs and enable companies to quickly reopen their doors once restrictions are lifted.
The chancellor said the measures would provide “reassurance and a safety net” for individuals and businesses across the UK ahead of a potential “tough” winter.
Additionally, for companies forced to close in England, Sunak announced an increase in business grants – up to £ 3,000 a month paid every two weeks.
The Treasury says mandated departments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will receive increased funding allowing them to take similar actions if they so choose.
Commercial lobbying group CBI said it “should cushion the blow for the hardest hit and keep more people at work.”
“But many companies, including bars and restaurants, would still be very disappointed if they had to close their doors again after doing so much to keep customers and employees safe,” added Ms. Caroline Verbern, President of CBI.
Mike Sherry, president of the Small Business Association, said additional help for closed companies would be “welcomed by thousands of small businesses”.
Shadow advisor Anelise Dodds said Sunak should have announced faster measures, adding: “Millions of jobs and livelihoods are at stake.”
A bunch of options
The consultant described his announcement as “a completely different scheme than we had before, this is not a universal approach, it is an expansion of a job support plan specifically for those people who work in businesses that will be asked formally or legally to close.”
Asked whether the announcement indicated that the government would ask companies, such as those in the hospitality industry, to close, Sunak said: “The high number of cases and hospitalizations in certain parts of the country raises concern.
“It is right for the government to consider a range of options … But it is also right to engage with local leaders.
“That’s what is happening this afternoon and over the weekend, so those conversations can happen and we can collectively decide on the appropriate response.
It’s a sign of just how quickly the coronavirus situation is getting tense, as the chancellor has to return to the policy he thought he had grounded less than two weeks ago when he announced his winter economic plan.
The government insists that this is not a ritual return of the leave plan, which is due to expire at the end of this month, but in all important respects, this is the second leave.
The crucial part is that small employers will not have to make any contribution to their workers’ wages if they are legally forced to close.
Larger companies will have to contribute approximately 5% of employee costs in the form of national insurance and pension contributions.
This is much more generous than the Expired Leave Scheme and is more generous than the Career Support Scheme announced by Sonak 10 days ago, which requires employers to pay 55% of active workers’ salaries.
The reason for this is simple – the measures that apply to companies that have been allowed to open up. This new system only applies to businesses that are not.
The other questions are not simple – who will be eligible? What about companies that have not been allowed to reopen since March?
Will it be applied by zip code? Would you be able to walk 10 minutes down the road to go to the open bar but have to pay 55% of the staff wages when you’re less than half full?
And perhaps most importantly for the expected “beneficiaries” of this scheme – the hospitality industry – how strong is the evidence on which this policy is based and can we see it in detail?
The job support scheme, which will replace the furlough scheme from November 1, will see eligible workers receive three quarters of their regular six-month pay.
To be eligible, employees must be in a “applicable job” where they can work at least a third of their normal working hours.
For hours not worked, the government and employer will pay a third of the remaining wages. This means that the employee will get at least 77% of their wages.
A tiered system of procedures for England is expected to be announced by Monday, In an effort to stem the rise in infection rates, to replace a patchwork of existing bases across the country.
Under the new system, different parts of the country will be categorized into different categories – although ministers are still debating the finer details.
Bars and restaurants could be closed in the hardest hit areas, while overnight stays bans are also being considered.
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