The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak MP, has announced an expanded Job Support Scheme today:
"Starting today and over the weekend, the Government will engage with local leaders on the next steps on further health measures in their areas. So I want to set out the next stage of our Winter Economy Plan: to provide extra support for businesses and jobs who may be asked to close over the coming weeks and months.
First, as I have said throughout this crisis: whatever extra resources our NHS needs to cope with coronavirus, it will get. We have already provided an extra £3 billion for NHS winter capacity and stand ready to go further if required.
Our economic priority is simple: we need to protect jobs. The way we do that needs to evolve as the crisis, and our health response also evolves. That doesn't mean announcing a new package of support every time the health measures change. Instead, we've developed an economic toolkit, to give people and businesses the right support, at the right time, for their situation.
If your business can open, the message is simple: we want to support you to bring people back to work. We're doing that through the Job Support Scheme, which will directly support the wages of people who are in work giving businesses the option of keeping employees in a job on shorter hours rather than making them redundant. And for every employee brought back successfully from furlough, businesses can also claim the Job Retention Bonus. That's the right approach for those businesses who can remain open.
At the same time, as the virus surges in different parts of the country, the health restrictions may need to go further and ask some businesses to close. They will need further support. So to protect jobs, I'm announcing today that I'm expanding the Job Support Scheme. Where the coronavirus restrictions legally require business premises to close, in any region or nation of the UK, we will help pay employees' wages.
So, if your business does close their doors, and you cannot work at least one week or more, your employer will pay you two thirds of your normal salary, up to £2,100 a month and the UK Government will cover the cost. The Scheme will apply to all business premises legally required to close. That includes businesses told to operate on a collection only or delivery only basis. Unlike the Job Support Scheme for open businesses, all we'll ask closed businesses to pay is the cost of Employer National Insurance and pension contributions.
The Job Support Scheme, whether for open or closed businesses will open on November 1st; pay grants from early December; remain open for six months; and we'll review the scheme January.
I'm announcing a second new policy today. If you're a business in England, and have been legally required to close, we'll also give you a crash grant that will never have to be repaid. And I'm making those grants more valuable than we'd previously planned. The smallest businesses, those with properties worth £15,000 or less, can now claim £1,300 a month; medium sized businesses, with properties worth between £15,00 and £51,000, can claim £2,000 a month; and larger businesses, worth £51,000 or more, can claim £3,000 a month, all paid in two fortnightly installments, supporting hundreds of thousands of businesses. The Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Ireland administrations can decide whether to do something similar, and I'm guaranteeing an extra £1.3 billion of funding to them today.
Our Winter Economy Plan and the expanded Job Support Scheme give businesses, whether they are open, or required to close the flexibility to adjust and plan over the coming months, in the full certainty they even if we do need to ask businesses to close, they have some support. All part of our plan to protect the jobs and livelihoods of the British people."