Prime Minister Boris Johnson tonight (Saturday 31 October) announced pubs would close in England's second national lockdown.
Shortly after the Government gave a lifeline to businesses and their employees by extending furlough and providing more than £1bn in grants to help closed businesses.
Following the PM’s announcement on further restrictions across the country we have decided to extended the furlough scheme for a further month covering 80% of employees’ wages. pic.twitter.com/qqlpu6wcI6— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) October 31, 2020
Employees will receive 80% of their current salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500, as they did in the spring during the first lockdown, said Sunak in a statement today.
Job Retention Scheme
The current Job Retention Scheme, which ends today (Saturday 31 October), saw employers contributing towards employees' salaries. However, the extended scheme does not.
Businesses, large and small, will have the flexibility to furlough staff on a part-time basis or full-time and furlough will replace the hybrid Job Retention Scheme, where employees must work a third of their hours, for the month of November.
They will be asked to contribute to an employee's National Insurance and pension, which for the average claim, according to the Government, equates to 5% of total employment costs.
In addition, businesses in England forced to close will receive grants of up to £3,000 a month under the Local Restrictions Support Grant.
Businesses required to close in England due to local or national restrictions will be eligible for the following:
- For properties with a rateable value of £15k or under, grants to be £1,334 per month, or £667 per two weeks
- For properties with a rateable value of between £15k-£51k grants to be £2,000 per month, or £1,000 per two weeks
- For properties with a rateable value of £51k or over grants to be £3,000 per month, or £1,500 per two weeks
A further £1.1bn has been made available to local authorities for one-off payments to support a broader range of businesses.
Provide for families
Sunak said: "Over the past eight months of this crisis we have helped millions of people to continue to provide for their families.
"But now – along with many other countries around the world – we face a tough winter ahead."
He continued: "I have always said that we will do whatever it takes as the situation evolves.
"Now, as restrictions get tougher, we are taking steps to provide further financial support to protect jobs and businesses. These changes will provide a vital safety net for people across the UK."