The Chancellor has announced an expansion to the Job Support Scheme over winter to support businesses.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, has announced that the Job Support Scheme will be expanded to support businesses across the UK that are required to close their premises due to coronavirus restrictions.

Under the expansion, firms whose premises are legally required to shut for some period over winter as part of local or national restrictions will receive grants to pay the wages of staff who cannot work – protecting jobs and enabling businesses to reopen quickly once restrictions are lifted.

The government will support eligible businesses by paying two thirds of each employees’ salary (or 67%), up to a maximum of £2,100 a month.

Cash grants for businesses required to close in local lockdowns also increased to up to £3,000 per month. These grants will be linked to rateable values.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said, “Throughout the crisis the driving force of our economic policy has not changed. I have always said that we will do whatever is necessary to protect jobs and livelihoods as the situation evolves. The expansion of the Job Support Scheme will provide a safety net for businesses across the UK who are required to temporarily close their doors, giving them the right support at the right time.”

Under the scheme, employers will not be required to contribute towards wages and only asked to cover NICS and pension contributions, a very small proportion of overall employment costs.

The scheme will begin on November 1 and will be available for six months, with a review point in January. The scheme is UK wide and the UK Government will work with the devolved administrations to ensure the scheme operates effectively across all four nations. These measures will sit alongside the original JSS and the £1,000 Job Retention Bonus (JRB) which encourages employers to keep staff on payroll.