The Chancellor has announced that the Job Support Scheme (JSS), which will replace the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme from 1st November 2020, will be expanded to help protect jobs and support businesses required to close as a result of coronavirus restrictions.

What’s the extra help if your business is required to close its doors? If your business has to temporarily close because of coronavirus restrictions, from 1st November, HMRC will pay two thirds of your employees’ salaries up to a maximum of £2,100 per month. Under this scheme, you will not be required to contribute towards wages and will only be asked to cover NI and pension contributions.

Eligibility. You will only be eligible to claim the grant while your business is subject to restrictions, i.e. forced to close, and your employees must be off work for a minimum of seven consecutive days. It’s likely that pubs, clubs, restaurants and other hospitality businesses will be the first to claim. It’s our understanding that pubs and restaurants etc. that are forced to close to diners but which provide a takeaway service will be covered by the scheme. This is subject to confirmation once we have all the detail.

How will it operate? This scheme will operate alongside the JSS and will be available for six months, with a review point in January. In line with the rest of the JSS, payments to businesses will be made in arrears, via an HMRC claims service that will be available from early December.

Increased cash grants will also be available. Increased cash grants will also be available if your business is required to close. These grants will be linked to rateable values, with up to £3,000 per month payable every two weeks, compared to up to £1,500 every three weeks which was available previously.