October 2020 – New Job Scheme Announced
In July 2020, the Chancellor announced a Job Retention Bonus that will pay employers a one-off bonus of £1,000 for each of their furloughed workers who is still employed at 31 January 2021.
However, the government has since announced a new in-work Job Support Scheme to support businesses and workers affected by COVID-19 through the winter months. Resisting calls for the extension of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Chancellor announced that from 1 November 2020, for the next six months, a new Job Support Scheme will be introduced to protect viable jobs in businesses that are facing lower demand due to COVID-19.
To be eligible for the new scheme, employees must work a minimum of 33 per cent of their normal hours, and not be on a redundancy notice. Employers will continue to pay the wages of staff for the hours they work, but in respect of hours not worked the government and the employer will each pay one-third of their equivalent salary (and so employees working 33 per cent of their hours will receive 77 per cent of their pay). The level of the government grant will be capped at £697.92 per month.
The new scheme will be open to employers across the United Kingdom, even if they have not previously used the furlough scheme with all small and medium-sized businesses eligible.
Employers retaining furloughed staff on shorter hours can claim help from the Job Support Scheme and the Job Retention Bonus.
In relation to the self-employed, the Self Employment Income Support Scheme will be extended until 30 April 2021, to support viable traders who are facing reduced demand over the winter months. An initial taxable lump sum will cover three months worth of profits for the period from November to the end of January 2021, worth 20 per cent of average monthly profits up to a total of £1,875, and a second grant (the level of which is yet to be set) will be available to cover the period from February 2021 to the end of April 2021.
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