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Changes to the Winter support packages

Tax Tips

 

Yesterday, the Chancellor made changes & improvements to previously announced support schemes to assist with businesses with job retention and grant funding over the Winter months:

Job Support Scheme (JSS) – Open

This scheme is designed to protect jobs in businesses facing lower demand due to Covid-19.

The employer contribution to those unworked hours has been reduced to 5% (previously 33%) and reduces the minimum hours requirements to 20% (previously 33%).  So, if someone was being paid £587 for their unworked hours, the government will contribute £543 and their employer only £44.

In summary:

  • The government pays at least 62% for hours not worked (capped at £1,541.75 per month)
  • Employer contribution cut from 33% to 5%
  • Employees take home at least 73% of pay for working 20% of hours

Employers will continue to receive the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus. The “Job Support Scheme Closed” for businesses legally required to close, remains unchanged.

Job Support Scheme (JSS) – Closed

This scheme is designed to help businesses pay their employees’ wages if they are legally required to close due to coronavirus restrictions.

In summary:

  • The government pays 67% of employees’ wages (capped at £2,100 per month)
  • Employers will still be required to pay Class 1 employer NICs or pension contributions
  • Employers pay nothing towards wages

Business Grants

Additional cash grants of up to £2,100 per month will be available primarily for businesses in the hospitality, accommodation and leisure sector which are not legally closed, but are severely impacted by the restrictions on socialising.

These grants will be available retrospectively for areas who have already been subject to restrictions and come on top of higher levels of additional business support for Local Authorities moving into Tier 3.

  • For properties with a rateable value of £15,000 or under, grants of £934 per month.
  • For properties with a rateable value over £15,000 and below £51,000, grants of £1,400 per month.
  • For properties with a rateable value of exactly £51,000 and over, grants of £2,100 per month.

Businesses in “Very High” alert level areas will qualify for greater support whether closed or open (up to £3,000 per month).  In the latter case support is being provided through business support packages provided to Local Authorities as they move into the alert level.

Self-employed grant

The announcement increased the amount of profits covered by the self-employed grants from 20% to 40%, meaning the maximum grant will increase to £3,750.

Grants will be available to anyone who was previously eligible for the SEISS (Self Employed Income Support Scheme) grant one and grant two, and meets the eligibility criteria.

Grants will be paid in two lump sum instalments each covering 3 months. The first will cover a three-month period from November 2020 to January 2021.  The taxable grant is calculated based on 40% of three months’ average trading profits, paid out in a single instalment, capped at £3,750.

The second grant will cover a three-month period from February to April 2021.  The government will review the level of the second grant and set this in due course.